New Delhi: Prime time debates Tuesday continued to focus on the Uttar Pradesh government’s handling of the Hathras gang-rape and murder case, even as NewsX and Aaj Tak discussed the upcoming Bihar assembly elections.
Republic TV‘s Arnab Goswami held a debate on the “giant conspiracy” surrounding the Hathras rape case with the hashtag #OperationHathras.
When JD(S) national spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed alleged the “[UP] police was playing dirty games”, Goswami countered, loudly, “The whole world has been told that the victim was raped and gang-raped because she was a Dalit. Is that not a lie? Yes it is!”
But Ahmed was having none of it. “It is not a lie. Why? Because her vaginal test went after 96 hours. We all know after 96 hours, the test stands null and void,” he said.
On ABP News, anchor Sumit Awasthi said that there many things yet to be unravelled in the Hathras case. “The story that started with gang-rape has now reached honour killing, what is the truth behind Hathras incident?” he mused, adding that the accused have called the incident one of “honour killing”.
The channel also helpfully ran bytes of upper-caste Thakur villagers saying that the accused didn’t commit the crime, before the anchor asked, “If the family is being honest then why is it running away from a CBI enquiry and narco test?”
The 20-year-old Dalit woman’s sister-in-law responded, point-blank, “In our Dalit samaj, we are taught since childhood that we aren’t to look into the eyes of the upper caste and talk.”
On NDTV 24×7, Sreenivasan Jain interviewed Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad who is now facing a case after visiting the Hathras woman’s family along with 400 others, allegedly in violation of a ban on large gatherings. “Justice or settling scores?” asked the channel.
On the argument that Azad and the Bhim Army weren’t allowed into the village as it was feared their presence would spark violence in Hathras, Azad countered by saying the atmosphere was already tense by the manner in which the case was handled. “Unki bacchi ko aap jala…petrol dalake jala dete hai, kachra tha voh? (You burn a family’s daughter with petrol…was she garbage?)”
Aaj Tak‘s Anjana Om Kashyap stayed away from UP and, instead, discussed neighbouring Bihar, specifically the state’s upcoming assembly polls. She highlighted the plight of India’s migrant workers, many from Bihar, during the lockdown.
“When the condition of these people improves, only then will Bihar’s image change,” she said, adding that it’s difficult for big companies to believe that they will get proper infrastructure in Bihar.
NewsX‘s Uday Pratap Singh also debated the BJP-JD(U) seat-sharing arrangement ahead. With BJP leader Rajendra Singh joining the LJP in the presence of Chirag Paswan Tuesday, Singh asked his panel: “What is brewing between the BJP and the LJP and is Nitish Kumar in for a big surprise after 10 November?”
Congress national spokesperson Anshul Avijit said, “The Congress is not really interested or preoccupied with the goings-on of the NDA. The NDA, as we already know, is a highly brittle structure,” he said, citing the BJP’s fallout with the Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal.
BJP national spokesperson Shaina NC claimed that the people of Bihar know that BJP is offering “good governance” and “stability” and reiterated that the party would back Nitish Kumar “to the fullest”.
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