Two separate videos of farm leader and national spokesperson of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Rakesh Tikait's interaction with the media have been merged to form a single video with a misleading narrative. It is being shared widely on Facebook.
Netizens who shared the video claimed that Tikait was angry at a Republic TV journalist as she tried to 'touch him inappropriately'. He then refused to give her an interview, claimed the video.
However, we found that the two videos were unrelated and were, in fact, merged. While the first video showed a Zee Hindustan reporter, the second one, which was shot a year later, showed Tikait refusing to give an interview to a Republic Bharat reporter and accusing her of misbehaviour.
The video was shared with text that read, "This is how a female reporter of Republic Bharat tried to defame farmer leader, Rakesh Tikait. But her stunt went wrong as he remained vigilant and exposed her."
WHAT WE FOUND
When we searched for the keywords, "reporter manhandling Rakesh Tikait", we found a longer version of the video, shared in December 2020.
At the 14-second mark, it was evident that the reporter was holding a Zee News microphone.
We also found that the same video was uploaded on the YouTube channel of News India 24 on 31 December 2020. The title of the video read, "Rakesh Tikait के साथ Zee News की Lady Reporter ने कर दी ऐसी हरकत, सब हुए हैरान !"
[Translation: Zee News' lady reporter did something with Rakesh Tikait that left everyone shocked.]
Later, Zee Hindustan's official Twitter handle posted a video of the reporter, Harsha Chandwani, speaking to Tikait. "Please tell people that I have been covering the protest for the last 35 days and that you treat me like your daughter," Chandwani said in the video.
Responding to her appeal, Tikait said that he, in fact, considered her his child and wanted her to learn from the protests.
Through a keyword search, we found the second video, which was posted by Republic TV on their YouTube channel on 1 December 2021.
It showed a heated argument between Tikait and a Republic Bharat reporter, Anju Nirwan, and the former asking her to leave and refusing to give her an interview.
"Make a video of them, they misbehave…," Tikait said in the first part of the segment, and later went on to accuse the reporter of 'touching him'.
Evidently, the old video with the Zee News reporter was merged with the recent one that shows the altercation between Tikait and the Republic Bharat reporter to create a misleading narrative.
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