Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary tweeted a 12-second video of farmer leader Rakesh Tikait and wrote, “Rakesh Tikait’s next target are media houses. Zee News showed the truth, so does that mean he can threaten us? Or else what?” (Archive link)

The video shows Tikait saying, “The next target are media houses. If you want to survive, join us, or else you’ll also be finished.”

Recently, Zee News performed a ‘sting operation’ where Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Naresh Tikait was found saying that he could procure sugarcane at a price lower than the minimum selling price (MSP). Zee News claimed that Rakesh Tikait was angered by the ‘sting’ and threatened the media outlet. The channel broadcast the viral video on loop. (Archive link)

Numerous other outlets including Republic Bharat, News18 Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh, News18 Rajasthan, OneIndia News, Republic, and The Economic Times also broadcast the video. Some of the channels aired the clip as Tikait threatening the media.

Journalist Aditya Raj Kaul also tweeted that Tikait had openly threatened the media. (Archive link)

The video is widespread on Facebook and Twitter.

Clipped video, false claim

Rakesh Tikait had interacted with the media on September 28 where he remarked, “The main culprit is the Delhi government (centre), which has sold off half the country through its policies. Pay attention to what they do too. They sold off the mandis of Madhya Pradesh… 182 mandis. Chhattisgarh will also not remain untouched. It is now time for everyone to join forces. Their next target is the media houses. If you want to survive, join us, or else you’ll also be finished.”

A small portion of Tikait’s full statement is being circulated with the claim that he threatened the media. In reality, he had said that the government’s next target was the media.

BKU shared the full-length statement on Twitter and clarified that the viral video was edited.

Alt News tried to get in touch with Rakesh Tikait but was able to contact his media representative. He elaborated on what the farmer leader’s statement meant – “Just as the agriculture and farming industries have been taken over by the government, their next target is the media. The pen and the camera will soon be ruled by a gun. The government is targeting the media. The government will order you to publish exactly what they want. You can’t write a word more than that.” He also said that the original video, which has been cropped and shared online, was taken on September 28.

ANI Hindi also subsequently tweeted Rakesh Tikait’s full statement.

About the Author

She specializes in information verification, examining mis/disinformation, social media monitoring and platform accountability. Her aim is to make the internet a safer place and enable people to become informed social media users. She has been a part of Alt News since 2018.