Media misreport RTO inspector involved in Bengaluru accident as ‘drunk’

On September 12, a RTO inspector in Bengaluru crashed his vehicle into an auto-rickshaw, seriously injuring the driver. Soon after, social media was abuzz with the claim that RTO inspector Manjunath, who was involved in the crash, was drunk at the time of the accident.

RTO OFFICER DRUNK AND DRIVE

Posted by Imran Immu on Thursday, September 12, 2019

The claim was accompanied by visuals from the scene of the accident. It soon went viral on Facebook.

MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ACCIDENT

Mirror Now, the English news channel of the Bennett Coleman group, reported the same day with the headline, ‘Drunk RTO inspector rams vehicle into autorickshaw; auto driver battling for life’.

The article states, “In a case reported from Bengaluru, a drunk Regional Transport Office (RTO) Inspector knocked a parked autorickshaw after which the driver has suffered severe injuries and is battling for life in the hospital. The incident raised several questions about the department’s responsibilities, as the inspector was found in an inebriated state during his duty hours.”

News9, a regional news channel based in Karnataka, broadcast news of the accident with the words, ‘Drunk RTO inspector rams car into auto’ and ‘Drunk driving menace’; the anchor stating, “The man has been identified as Manjunath, who was drunk on duty. The RTO inspector has been detained by the electronic city traffic police.” The video of the broadcast is posted below.

The reports also stated that auto-rickshaw drivers had staged a protest in the locality after the accident. A report by Asianet, which was titled, ‘“Drunk” RTO inspector knocks down auto, protest erupts in Bengaluru’s Hosur road’, published a day after the accident, ironically stated that no trace of alcohol was found on the accused, who was subjected to an alcometer by the traffic police.

Other Kannada media entities which reported that the RTO inspector was drunk, included Suvarna News (part of Asianet News network) and Public Tv News.

FACT CHECK: NOT A CASE OF DRUNK DRIVING

Alt News contacted the electronic city traffic police station, Bengaluru who confirmed that news of the accused being drunk is false. “The person was not under the influence of alcohol. A breath analyzer was used by the traffic police to determine this. However, those gathered at the spot had insisted that a proper test be conducted. So we arranged for a detailed medical examination to be conducted at a hospital. It emerged that he was suffering from low blood pressure. This was not a case of drunk driving.” 

A report by The Hindu states that the medical report of Manjunath had revealed that he was not drunk, but under medication. In the latest development, RTO inspector Manjunath passed away on September 13, a day after the accident. This was confirmed to us by electronic city traffic police. It has been reported by Asianet.

ಮನುಷ್ಯನ ವಿಕ್ರತಿ ಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಬಿಂಬಿಸುವ social media ಗಳಿಗೆ ನನ್ನ ದೊಂದು ಧಿಕ್ಕಾರ…

Because of Low BP yesterday car met with…

Posted by Vinay Bhagwat on Friday, September 13, 2019

An accident in the heart of Bengaluru involving a RTO inspector was grossly misreported by Mirror Now and Kannada media, and falsely relayed on social media. It may be noted that the accused, RTO inspector Manjunath was NOT drunk at the time of the accident.

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