A screenshot of the message doing the rounds on social media
A screenshot of the message doing the rounds on social media
Text Size:

New Delhi: A message viral on social media claims an Uttar Pradesh-based journalist was murdered for talking about the Kumbh Mela’s role in pushing up cases amid the ongoing Covid-19 surge. It includes a video of the journalist, Pragya Mishra, talking about the Kumbh Mela and Covid, and images of a woman lying in a pool of blood. 

However, the post is a hoax. A closer examination of the images reveals that the woman is not Mishra, but Neelu, a hospital staffer who was stabbed to death — allegedly by her husband — in Delhi’s Rohini area last week.

Mishra also tweeted a clarification Sunday, saying the reports of her death are rumours. She said she is currently at home because of Covid protocol. 

Also Read: UP govt claims it vaccinated over 85 lakh people, but numbers cited don’t add up

Murder video had gone viral

In a video that has been shared by many social media users over the past week, Mishra is seen questioning the government for allowing the Kumbh Mela to be organised despite the surge in Covid cases. 

The mela is adding to the number of cases, she says, and questions people for attending it despite knowing as much. 

The viral message about her “murder” said she had been killed “in broad daylight, because she was talking in news about kumbh mela in the era of coronavirus”. 

A website even picked up the message and wrote what appeared to be an obituary for Mishra. 

The Rohini murder of hospital staffer Neelu was caught on film by a CCTV camera near the crime scene, and images and a video recording of the incident had gone viral. In the video, Neelu and a man are initially seen talking to each other. After a while, the man starts stabbing her repeatedly. Neelu’s husband Harish Mehta, who was allegedly opposed to her job and suspected her of infidelity, was subsequently arrested for the crime.

In association with SM Hoaxslayer

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: BJP tweets photo of injured CISF personnel, blame TMC workers, but police point to monkeys


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism