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Rajdeep Sardesai sent off-air for spreading fake news

The decision comes after he falsely reported about a farmer dying of police bullets.

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NEW DELHI: In the world of instant shares and retweets, almost everyone becomes a prey to the fake news demon once in a while. However, can a leading journalist afford to do that? Well, the answer seems to be a bold no, as one of the most prominent names in the Indian news media industry is facing the repercussions of it.

Several media reports stated that India Today has temporarily taken Rajdeep Sardesai off-air and has also deducted his pay for the month in the aftermath of his tweet and coverage of a farmer allegedly killed in police firing during the tractor rally on Republic Day. The deceased, however, had succumbed to his injuries post a fatal accident when his tractor turned turtle.

Sardesai had tweeted, “One person, 45-year-old Navneet killed allegedly in police firing at ITO. Farmers tell me: the ‘sacrifice’ will not go in vain. (sic)” He even went live on India Today, explaining how the young farmer was shot by cops.

He later removed the tweet and apologised for the fumble.

In fact, it is not the first time that Rajdeep Sardesai had been involved in a controversy around peddling fake news. A day before, he fell for a hoax surrounding the unveiling of a wrong portrait of Subhas Chandra Bose at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Last year, he had tweeted about former president Pranab Mukherjee dying weeks before he actually breathed his last. He deleted the tweet within minutes after netizens called out the blunder. Mukherjee's son and daughter had also clarified on his health.

Now, speculations are rife that Sardesai has submitted his resignation at the channel.

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