A spat occurred on the weekend between 2 international media houses and the Indian government. BBC and Al Jazeera broadcasted a video on social media platforms which showcases protest held in Kashmir.
What BBC broadcasted looks like this,
What Al Jazeera broadcasted looks like this,
In the nick of time, the videos went viral, gaining attention from several places.
The Government of India contacted Al Jazeera and BBC, on Saturday over their “videos on large-scale protests” in Srinagar on Friday morning, informing them that the news was “fabricated” and if they had any evidence to prove the videos were real. The news organizations, however, have said their videos are “genuine” and they can produce the raw footage if required.
BBC took to their twitter and tweeted,
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) August 11, 2019
The home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau are keeping an acute watch on national and international media specifically reporting on Kashmir and have signaled four videos and seven reports as ‘misleading or fake’ in their reports which include those on anti-India protests in the valley and those that claim the action might spark more tensions in the valley and cause a rise in militancy.
Home ministry officials said they are awaiting a response from the foreign media outlets, but so far they have not been able to produce videos.
“All of them are referring to BBC Urdu videos and so far unable to produce the raw footage,” a home ministry official confirmed adding that MEA officials have been roped in to assure than any foreign media outlets do not upload unverified videos from the valley.
MHA in a statement had denied these reports and said,
“Only stray protests at Srinagar and Baramulla took place where not more than 20 people were present.” Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary BVR Subramanyam later clarified
“The police has not fired a single bullet so far in the last six days. The situation is calm, people are cooperative, and restrictions are being relaxed to ease the situation.”
The inquiry conducted by government official further revealed that Al Jazeera first floated the video and then by BBC, after three hours, but it was telecast in all regional channels of BBC. The Al Jazeera report said that the protests took place in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir after the curfew was relaxed for people to go out and pray.
A news report concerning the issue showcases a conversation with media house which says,
“We told them we have the SD cards and metadata that have a clear proof of the time and place of the protests and we can share that with them. We completely stand by our report and the video.”
This is not the first time Al Jazeera has rubbed the government the wrong way concerning its reporting on J&K.
The early report of the channel states that the government suspended the channel for its documentary on the Kashmir Valley. According to the government, the documentary is entirely biased with its content.
In May, after the government refused to rebuild the channel’s license, the channel acknowledged not to show the UN certified map that presents Kashmir in red, which means a ‘conflict zone.’