An­chor Tweets on Us­ing Real Bul­lets on J&K Pro­test­ers, LSTV Yet to Act

Twit­ter sus­pends Ja­grati Shukla’s ac­count; chan­nel of­fi­cials say they are ‘look­ing into is­sue’ but add there is no pol­icy for em­ploy­ees’ so­cial me­dia be­hav­iour

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Twit­ter has sus­pended LokSab­haTVan­chorJa­gratiShukla’s ac­count for her con­tro­ver­sial tweets on Thurs­day wish­ing “real bul­lets in­steadof pel­lets”forKash­miri­civil­ians with pel­let gun in­juries, but her em­ployer has not ini­ti­ated any ac­tion against her.

Se­nior of­fi­cials at the chan­nel said it’s in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter. One of them­told ET thatShukla’sviewswere “per­sonal in na­ture”.

Thechan­nel’sCEOAshishJoshi­said he will look into the is­sue once it is of­fi­cially raised.

“We will take ac­tion if re­quired,” he said. “That apart, we have asked all our em­ploy­ees to put up their most re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour on so­cial me­dia.”

A Lok Sabha TV of­fi­cial said ser­vice rules of its em­ploy­ees don’t ap­ply to their so­cial me­dia be­hav­iour and the ab­sence of a crim­i­nal com­plaint also make­sit­d­if­fi­cult­tore­moveem­ploy­ees who fault on so­cial me­dia. The chan­nel is op­er­ated by Lok Sabha Sec­re­tariat un­der the pa­tron­age of speaker Su­mi­tra Ma­ha­jan. It’s owned by Par­lia­ment of In­dia.

Lok Sabha Sec­re­tariat of­fi­cials Kal­pana Sharma and Gan­pati Bhat, who han­dle af­fairs of LSTV as per its web­site, de­clined com­ment, say­ing they were unaware of the is­sue.

Shukla, an as­sis­tant pro­ducer at the


chan­nel,hadonWed­nes­dayretweeted pho­tos of civil­ians from Kash­mir val­ley, say­ing she “pre­ferred real bul­lets in­stead of pel­lets”.

While Twit­ter sus­pended her ac­count hours af­ter her tweet kicked up as­torm,the­so­cial­me­di­aplat­formwas soon filled with her con­tro­ver­sial tweets on the Sikh geno­cide to for­mer In­dian vice pres­i­dent Hamid An­sari whom she had once called “a so­phis­ti­cated Ji­had apol­o­gist”.

When con­tacted, Shukla said she stood by her tweet and that the sus­pen­sion of her Twit­ter ac­count “was a re­sult of mass re­port­ing by a po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated group”.

“Myre­cen­tTweet­waspret­tyin­nocu­ou­sand­didn’tcon­tainanyref­er­enceto a spe­cific com­mu­nity. We lose sol­diers and tourists to these mur­der­ous mobs all the times; why aren’t we talk­ing about their hu­man rights and right to self-de­fence?” she told ET. “The hash­tag in my sup­port has crossed120kTweet­sandtrende­datNo. 1 all over In­dia on Twit­ter for over 16 hours. It’s not a paid trend and I’m not a politi­cian, so the quan­tum of sup­port I’ve re­ceived is tes­ti­mony to what the pub­lic opin­ion is,” Shukla said.

A se­nior LSTV of­fi­cial said the chan­nel had asked Shukla to give clar­i­fi­ca­tion af­ter it re­ceived a com­plaint about her tweet on Sikh geno­cide. “Some other com­plaints that came to us were from a time she was not em­ployed by us,” the per­son said. “We have em­ployed her only af­ter proper po­lice ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­cesses.”

Many peo­ple, how­ever, ques­tioned the par­lia­men­tary chan­nel’s de­ci­sion to hire Shukla in May this year when her “big­oted thoughts” were al­ready clear.

My re­cent tweet was pretty in­nocu­ous & didn’t con­tain any ref­er­ence to a spe­cific com­mu­nity. We lose sol­diers and tourists to these mur­der­ous mobs all the times; why aren’t we talk­ing about their hu­man rights and right to self-de­fence: Shukla

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