Senior journalist and anchor of NDTV’s Prime Time show Ravish Kumar is getting death threats on phone and was trolls on social media. Kumar said that trolls used “very foul language and are very daring… There is no doubt in the fact that this organised. These are not anonymous trolls. They seem to have positions. And they know that their activity can be legally proven. They send videos, but they are not scared. This has never happened before.”
Ravish is also getting abusive messages and comments on his Facebook page and WhatsApp and his family is threatens with dire consequence. He revealed that Ravish Kumar has revealed that he has been receiving death threats and abusive phone calls since April 2018, after a fake quote attributed to him began doing the rounds on social media.
Speaking to The Hindu on the barrage of threats, Mr. Kumar said, “Since April 25-26, my phone has been incessantly buzzing and I have been receiving nearly 1,000 such calls and messages at all hours of the day and night. I can’t type a text message on the phone without it being interrupted by these calls. It is a new scale of attack.”
The latest in the series of threats is a video message from Jaunpur from a Bajrang Dal functionary. The video, aired by NDTV, shows the person threatening to “chase Mr. Kumar till Pakistan and shoot him down.”
Other threats list exact details of his residence, the route he takes to work, death threats and threats to women in his family. “It is all well-organised and has political sanction,” he said.
Although the reason behind such hatred directed was reportedly unclear, but it is speculated that a fake quote attributed to Kumar was doing the rounds.
The fake news quoted Kumar saying he “supported the rapist in the rape of an 11 year old in a madarsa in Delhi.” Kumar clarified that he made no such statement, and that he would “never say something on these lines.”
Check out the video in which a man is threating Ravish Kumar
NDTV’s Ravish Kumar gets death threats on phone, social media
At a time the nation is debating intolerance and threats to free speech, a special look at what journalists risk each day to do their jobs
— NDTV Videos (@ndtvvideos) May 25, 2018
Last year he wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi too detailing about these threats. Here are few excerpts from his long letter.
Ravish begins with asking the PM about his health. “I’m not only hopeful but certain that this will find you hale and hearty. I always pray for your good health and wish that your limitless energy remains intact,” he has written.
Then Ravish drew PM’s attention towards the internet trolls, who in the name of respecting the PM are threatening people, particularly the journalists, who question the authority.
“The sad part is that you happen to follow some of these people on Twitter who use grotesque language and indiscriminately dole out threats. And you have continued to subscribe to their accounts even after their malevolence was highlighted in public and sparked controversies.”
He, expressed his apprehensions in his letter, telling the PM that the trolls are particularly targeting the journalists.
“I have to admit that I have been a little scared since I read on AltNews that you happen to follow some of the members of a WhatsApp group called ‘Om Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah’ who have been hurling the choicest abuses, making communal stabs and describing as terrorists some journalists including me, though we are proud patriots.”
“I cannot even read out aloud some of the language used against me and other journalists. It is my duty to respect you even in the face of the shrillest of criticism, so I say this without bitterness. It is absolutely shameful, the kind of language that is used for women journalists by these groups.”
Ravish asked the PM to clarify whether he really follows such people.
“I have a question for you. Do you really follow Niraj Dave and Nikhil Dadhich? Why? A few days ago, I shared a couple of screenshots from their WhatsApp group on my Facebook page @RavishKaPage. An investigation by Pratik Sinha and Neelesh Purohit of AltNews shows that Niraj Dave is a resident of Rajkot and is the Managing Director of an export company. You follow Niraj Dave. When I asked him not to use abusive language, he replied that he is sad that I am alive.”
This issue is very serious because a growing number of journalists say they’re facing an increase in receiving death threats.
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