Deceptive journalism is not new to us. There are several magazines and websites which beneath the mask of investigative journalism deceive us with completely wrong information. Caravan Magazine is one among many.
On 20th of November 2017, Caravan published a story which talked about the death of B.H. Loya, CBI special court judge. Loya was hearing one of the most high profile cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter in Gujrat. In which BJP supremo and then Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah was chief accused. As per the directives by the supreme court, the hearing was moved out of Gujrat, in Mumbai.
Niranjan Takale, one of the self-proclaimed intellect and member of Adarsh Liberal gangs of Maharashtra. He did this story for Caravan.
In his story, Takale made very serious accusations about Loya’s death which were scrapped by Indian express. Here’s how Indian Expressed punctured Caravan story step by step.
What Caravan has to say:
Brijgopal Loya was a CBI Special Court Judge in Mumbai.
On 30th of November 2014, He was in Nagpur for the wedding of a daughter of his colleague a high court judge. He was staying in VIP guest house at Ravi Bhavan. On 30th November night around 12, he suffered chest pains. He was taken to the Dande hospital, a private hospital. He was taken in a Ricksha, not ambulance or car. In that hospital ECG was not working hence he was taken to Meditrina Hospital, another private hospital in the city. Where he was declared dead on arrival.
After death, his body was taken to government medical college hospital, Nagpur for postmortem. According to the PM report, he died of heart attack. According to Takale, Loya’s Postmortem was done without the consent of his family. Though the report has the signature of some unknown person who claimed to be Loya’s Paternal Cousin. And according to Takale Loya’s family denied having any relative in Nagpur.
He even added, by referring to the PM report which mentioned cloths of deceased as ‘dry’. And according to Takale, his family stated his clothes were stained with blood.
One of the most serious accusations made by Takale was, No official did accompany Loya’s remains, except ambulance driver.
And Some RSS activist named Ishwar Baheti arranged to carry his remains to Gategaon, Loya’s native village where his family resides.Even the belongings of Loya were handed to the family by Ishwar Baheti instead of police officials. No one from Loya’s family had any knowledge about Baheti.
These were the accusations made by Niranjan Takale in his investigative story in Caravan.
Within next three days, Indian Express discarded every claim made by caravan in their story.
They went through all the sources, police officials, doctors, Loya family and fellow judges.
How Indian Express Scrapped Caravan’s claims:
Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice Sunil Shukre his fellow judges revealed the exact plot of what happened on the day Loya suffered chest pain.
At the night of 30th November, Loya suffered chest pain. He was taken to Dande Hospital. Vijaykumar Barde a Local Judge and then registrar of High court Nagpur branch took him to the hospital in his car and not Rikshwa as claimed by Caravan.
Loya’s ECG was done at Dande Hospital. Indian Express has recovered a copy of the same. As per Caravans claims, ECG at Dande Hospital was not working. But due to lack of advanced medical facilities at Hospital doctors asked them to take him to Meditrina Hospital. And there he was announced dead on arrival.
Later he was taken to Government Medical College and Hospital Nagpur for Postmortem. Where one of his relative Prashant Rathi was present along with his fellow judges. Prashant Rathi his relative did sign on the postmortem papers.
About the blood stains on his clothes, doctors said, ”During Postmortem blood clogged in the veins often comes out which might stain deceased’s clothes, its normal.”
His body was then sent to Latur, accompanied by fellow judges named Yogesh Rahandgale and Swayam Chopda along with a police constable. His remains were sent in an air-conditioned ambulance followed by a car of accompanying judges. The accompanying judges even attended his cremation at his native village Gategaon near Latur.
Indian Express has torn apart every argument put forth by Caravan to create ambiguity in Loya’s death. The Caravan had done this purposefully to demonize Amit Shah. Now the question is ‘will Caravan take down the story and apologize its readers?’