Television

NDTV 24X7 launches 'Fight for Jessica Lal' SMS campaign

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MUMBAI: TV news channel NDTV has launched a "Fight for Jessica Lal" campaign to garner support for a fresh trail in the ‘Jessica Lal murder case’ where all the nine prime accused were "honoroubly" discharged by a Delhi sessions court this week.( Lal, a model, was filling in as a bartender in a posh south Delhi restaurant when she was shot in the wee hours of 30 April 1999. This happened sfter she reportedly refused to serve liquor to Manu Sharma, the son of Haryana Excise Minister Vinod Sharma. )

NDTV is using its short SMS code 6388 as a driver to increase public awareness of what it believes was not a proper meting out of justice. It has asked mobile phone users to repond to its short code with a single word Jessica and following that it will approach the Indian President seeking an opening up of the case once again. Simultaneously, the channel has weaved around a show Special Guests: Fight for Jessica Lal at 10 pm on 25 Feburary as well as 26 February at 10 am.

The SMS campaign launched yesterday. On the same day the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi police to submit all the investigation details as well as the reasons, which caused the collapse of the prosecution's case in a trial court in New Delhi earlier this week. The matter has been scheduled for a further hearing on 9 April.

The channel has posted a message on its website and is pushing the same via NDTV 24X7 only, seeking viewers' helping hand on the Lal campaign . On air as well as on the website www.ndtv.com, viewers are being invited to SMS Jessica to 6388, which states that ‘each SMS will help the petition for a fresh trial’.

The acquittal of the accused in the murder has led to widespread public outcry for a re-trial of the case and action against officials responsible for ham-handling the case. As of now, the channel intends to run the campaign till Sunday. But, the channel may extend the campaign. Till 3:35 pm on 25 February, NDTV had received 84,344 SMS.

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