Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. The press conference of late Justice BH Loya’s son, Anuj Loya presented a ripe ground for many such theories. The conference was arranged at the offices of the top Mumbai law firm, Naik and Naik. Along with Anuj Loya, also present at the conference were his cousin, Pratik Bhandari, Advocate Ameet B. Naik from Naik & Naik and retired District Judge KB Katake who was a family friend and colleague of Justice Loya. At the conference, Anuj Loya said that his father’s death was not suspicious and the family does not want a probe. Soon after the conference was aired on TV, allegations began to emerge that the press conference was organized by BJP National President, Amit Shah. At the time of his death, Justice Loya was the presiding over a trial into Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which Amit Shah was an accused.
Jas Oberoi, a columnist at Newslaundry was first to raise suspicions about Amit Shah’s role in organizing the press conference. He shared a video clip of ABP news as evidence.
So @AmitShah has exposed himself in Judge Loya murder case.
Anuj Loya, Judge’s son held a PC & said the family doesn’t suspect any foul play now & believes that his death was natural.
Please listen to this short clip in which it’s admitted that Amit Shah arranged this PC. pic.twitter.com/S4vLRWhupE
— Jas Oberoi | ਜੱਸ ਓਬਰੌਏ (@iJasOberoi) January 14, 2018
The same allegation was also made by several others including Gaurav Pandhi and Prashant Bhushan.
Loya's former colleague accidentally reveals, the PC (of Loya's son) was organized by Amit Shah himself. If so, it needs to be investigated if Amit Shah is pressurizing Loya's son. His family raised the doubts on Loya's death earlier; high possibility of shah pressurizing them! pic.twitter.com/xVDWm2VMF3
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) January 14, 2018
Just see the body language of Anuj Loya in this PC& the aggressiveness of his handlers& judge for yourself if he is under pressure now. His father & aunt who raised Qs on video about suspicious death not with him. One handler says PC arranged by Amit Shah!https://t.co/ouiVPvs1rg
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) January 14, 2018
Interestingly as first noticed by OpIndia, Sanjiv Bhatt plagiarised Prashant Bhushan’s tweet and parroted the same allegations.
Just see the body language of Anuj Loya in this PC and the aggressiveness of his handlers. You can judge for yourself whether he’s under pressure or not. Family members who had raised the questions were conspicuously absent. One handler even says the PC was arranged by Amit Shah! https://t.co/lPkhiLhmC3
— Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) (@sanjivbhatt) January 14, 2018
Although on hearing the video, it may seem at first that Amit Shah’s name is being mentioned, it is not so. This was first pointed out on twitter by @swamv39 and later also reconfirmed by many journalists. It is worth considering that if Amit Shah’s name was indeed mentioned at the press conference, it would not go unnoticed by the media persons present at the event.
He refers to the Lawyer as 'Amit Sir'
Lawyer's Name – Ameet Nair. pic.twitter.com/fo0shNBqYI
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) January 14, 2018
Abhisar Sharma of ABP news clarified that the name mentioned in their clip by Judge Katake was not Amit Shah, but Ameet Sir i.e Advocate Ameet Naik, who helped to organize the conference.
— Abhisar Sharma (@abhisar_sharma) January 15, 2018
Ashutosh Mishra, journalist at AajTak/India Today also pointed out that unclear audio may be reason for confusion.
Correction : He is taking about Mr Ameet sir (Amit Naik) lawyer of Loya family as claims by RW. Unclear audio is reason of confusion. While the body language of Loya's son says a lot about pressure. https://t.co/vwsyYF3NzQ
— ASHUTOSH MISHRA (@JournoAshutosh) January 14, 2018
The same was also clarified by Rifat Jawaid of Janta ka Reporter
Lot of social media messages claiming that Judge Loya’s friend thanked Amit Shah for Sunday’s press conference. Wrong. He thanked Amit sir. Amit Naik is family’s lawyer, who was present at the press conference. This is how lies become facts! Be careful. https://t.co/Kk9XB8vNMS
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) January 15, 2018
Ameet Naik, in a violet tie, can be seen speaking in this video broadcasted by ABP News.
Even after clarifications by so many journalists, none of the above tweets making the allegations have been deleted so far. Nor is there any acknowledgement of the error. In fact new conspiracy theories have started to emerge.
There are high possibilities, as also pointed by some here, that 'Amit Sir' being referred to here is the lawyer Ameet Naik leading the pc. Even more interesting to have a judge referring to a very young corporate lawyer as 'Sir'. Yes, Ameet Naik is a corporate lawyer. 1/3 https://t.co/T68mri0b3c
— Gaurav Pandhi (@GauravPandhi) January 15, 2018
Conspiracy theories are often resorted to by all sides when the narrative is unpalatable. This was a classic instance of misinterpretation, deliberate or otherwise. The controversy gained much traction on social media and may still be circulating despite the distortion being called out and clarified by reporters. While the timing of the press conference could possibly raise eyebrows as it is just two days after four Supreme Court justices raised doubts about Judge Loya’s death in an underhanded manner, such rumour mongering answer no questions. The death of Justice Loya is a sensitive and serious issue, and ought not to be trivialized.