Shehla Rashid Attacks Republic TV at Press Club, Sparks Debate

Rashid said at the Press Club of India on Wednesday that Republic TV was ‘covering up’ Gauri Lankesh’s murder.

Updated
India
2 min read
Shehla Rashid, former JNUSU vice-president.
i

In the wake of senior Kannada journalist and Hindutva critic Gauri Lankesh’s cold-blooded murder, protests have been held across the country. On Wednesday, the Press Club of India (PCI), New Delhi, held a protest meeting to condemn the murder, and to draw attention to the clampdown on dissent.

At the meeting, former vice-president of the students’ union of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNUSU), Shehla Rashid, accused Republic TV of ‘covering up’ Lankesh’s murder, and asked them to ‘get out’ of the event, saying:

I am sorry, I do not want Republic TV here.

This incident has sparked an online debate, with some journalists calling her out for “heckling”, and others supporting her in not entertaining a Republic TV reporter.

The 2:20-minute-long video clip has since gone viral on social media.

Those Who Supported Shehla and Those Who Did Not

This is how the debate unfolded on social media:

Shehla Rashid pointed out that the Republic TV reporter she had asked to leave at the PCI had re-tweeted a post condoning Lankesh’s murder, which revealed his leanings. At the same time, she highlighted another Republic TV employee who had openly condemned the TV channel’s ‘shameful’ “batting for a rogue government.”

Journalist Sumana Nandy quit Republic TV after a disagreement on the way in which the channel was covering Gauri Lankesh’s murder. She said, in a post, which is being hailed by many:

However, her colleague, Republic TV’s Associate Editor Aditya Raj Kaul backed up his organisation, and lashed out at Rashid:

Journalist Jagrati Shukla, who Rashid named in her address outside the Press Club, hit back too.

Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta called out Rashid’s ‘heckling’ of the Republic TV journalist.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde spoke up in defence of Rashid’s treatment of the Republic TV reporter:

The Hindu’s G Sampath backed up Rashid too:

Sanjiv Bhatt, former IPS officer of the Gujarat regiment, known for filing an affidavit against Narendra Modi when he was chief minister over his role in the Gujarat pogrom, also supported Rashid.

Author of ‘Hello Bastar’ and senior journalist Rahul Pandita thought Rashid had overstepped her bounds:

Pratik Sinha, co-founder, Alt-News felt that Rashid should not have “humiliated” the Republic TV reporter who was “only there to do his job.”

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