Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment more than two months ago. As time goes by, the media’s obsession with the case is rapidly soaring. Singh’s family had filed an FIR blaming his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty for his demise. Chakraborty, however, claimed that Singh’s relationship with the family soured after his sister Priyanka molested her in April. The actor’s family members subsequently released several videos to ‘prove’ that he was neither depressed nor had a bad relationship with them. In this backdrop. Aaj Tak’s editor-in-chief Anjana Om Kashyap tweeted a video claiming it shows Singh dancing with his niece. “See this video of Sushant Singh Rajput. How the uncle is having fun with his niece. Family love! He is dancing with his eldest sister Rani’s daughter’s Mallika Singh. (सुशांत सिंह राजपूत का ये वीडियो भी देखिए। मामू-भांजी की मस्ती। परिवार का प्यार! सुशांत की सबसे बड़ी बहन रानी की बेटी मल्लिका सिंह के साथ नाचते गाते!)”
सुशांत सिंह राजपूत का ये वीडियो भी देखिए। मामू-भांजी की मस्ती। परिवार का प्यार! सुशांत की सबसे बड़ी बहन रानी की बेटी मल्लिका सिंह के साथ नाचते गाते ! pic.twitter.com/bhFqRxemvQ
— Anjana Om Kashyap (@anjanaomkashyap) August 17, 2020
The video was also tweeted by Aaj Tak and broadcast by India Today. It is noteworthy that both platforms of the India Today Group have dedicated fact-checking desks. In fact, the English vertical is a Facebook fact-checking partner and signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN).
The video has been published or aired across news organisations including, ABP News, Hindustan, Patrika, The Times of India, Times Now, India TV, News Nation and ABP News. “Another video of Sushant Singh Rajput has surfaced. In this video, Sushant is having fun with his niece Mallika. Uncle-niece duo is dancing together. This video clearly shows the kind of relationship Sushant shared with his family. Because Rhea is continuously alleging that his relationship with the family was bitter,” wrote Aaj Tak.
“In a new video, Sushant can be seen dancing with his niece. After watching Sushant having fun in such a video, it seems unlikely that he had ever been depressed,” wrote News Nation.
Not Singh’s niece or a family member
The woman dancing with Singh is not his niece but Punjabi choreographer Manpreet Toor. “We can’t believe all the news we read in the newspaper,” she wrote sharing the same video on August 18.
In 2017, Toor had worked as a choreographer for a song in Singh’s film ‘Raabta’. She had uploaded a photo with him on June 4, 2017, where both can be seen in the same clothes.
Furthermore, on June 7, 2017, Toor had also shared a clip of the song from ‘Raabta’ where they can again be spotted in identical clothes.
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Several mainstream media outlets, therefore, ran a video of Sushant Singh Rajput dancing with his choreographer as his niece. Channels went to the extent of using the clip as ‘evidence’ of Singh’s healthy relationship with his family. Prominent channels broadcast shows and discussions on the actor’s niece after she wrote a lengthy comment on Instagram to counter the claims levelled on her family. Singh’s death has been mired in controversies, most promoted by the media in the garb of ‘journalism’. The circus which is prime time news is not even close to the finish line as more and more unverified theories are propagated every day. As of this writing, out of the aforementioned channels, Aaj Tak and its editor-in-chief Anjana Om Kashyap tweeted a correction however their report remains to be updated. Aaj Tak had earlier published a false report on the ‘last tweets’ made by the actor. The tweets in question were posted by a fake account. The channel had also aired fake tweets of Singh’s father KK Singh.
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