Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had planned to hold a rally on January 10 in Karnal district’s Kaimla village on the benefits of the Centre’s new farm laws. That same evening, News18 and Dainik Jagran reported that the event was cancelled since Khattar was not able to attend due to bad weather.

News18 wrote, “Due to bad weather, the Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar could not reach Kaimla village to join the Kisan Mahapanchayat. His helicopter was not permitted to fly due to bad weather. This event was planned by the BJP, assembling those farmers who were in support of the new agricultural policies.”

Dainik Jagran also similarly reported that the CM could not reach the gathering because his helicopter was having trouble flying due to bad weather.

Although both of these articles have been updated now, their archived versions can be seen here and here. Apart from this, a website named Hindi Samachar24 also published a story.

False claim

Several other news outlets published reports on the cancellation of the Kisan Mahapanchayat program. According to Aaj Tak, “Hundreds of farmers protesting the new farm laws reached the venue before CM Khattar could get there. They waved black flags and raised slogans against him.” The event was cancelled amid the ruckus.

ABP News reported, “Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s visit was cancelled after heavy opposition from farmers in Karnal. The protesting farmers also took control of the helipad. The chief minister had planned to discuss the benefits of the new agricultural laws at the Mahapanchayat.”

Jagran and News18 updated reports without acknowledgement

A few social media users, including journalist Abhisar Sharma, pointed out that these outlets had published incorrect information. Following this, both edited their reports to reflect that the CM was not able to address the Mahapanchayat in Karnal due to the commotion created by a group of protestors.

A link to the updated stories of Dainik Jagran and News18 are added below where the URL attributes the cancellation of the event to the weather.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking on the cancellation of the Mahapanchayat in a press conference, Chief Minister Khattar said, “Leaders of the protesting farmers had spoken to officials. They agreed that they would hold a symbolic protest. The administration had made its arrangements based on this agreement. Today, when I was supposed to reach there, some honoured their word and stayed back as agreed. However, some other youth, who had perhaps been influenced by other forces, began to ransack the venue. Our leaders had already reached there by then, and only I was to arrive via helicopter. However, the protesters began thronging the helipad in large numbers. Out of concern for the escalating law and order situation, I ordered my helicopter to land in Karnal instead.”

Two major news outlets, Dainik Jagran and News18, therefore incorrectly reported that the reason for the cancellation of CM Khattar’s Kisan Mahapanchayat was bad weather. Once this was pointed out on social media, they amended their articles without an update. Recently, in a similar manner, almost every television news channel in India falsely reported that a Pakistani ex-diplomat admitted that 300 of their soldiers had been killed in the Balakot airstrike. This was all based on a doctored video.

Donate to Alt News!
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.

Donate Now

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.