- Case filed against three journalists in Kanpur Dehat district
- Journalists were not even present at the event, said an official
- All the guests at the event can be seen clad in winter wear
Three journalists in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur have been accused of "public mischief" and "criminal intimidation" in a first information report (FIR) filed against them over a news report, which alleged that several government school students "shivered in biting cold while government officials were busy with an event" last week.
The journalists in Kanpur Dehat district, 170 km from state capital Lucknow, work for the local TV channel that aired the news report. In his police complaint, Sunil Dutt, the district Basic Education Officer, has alleged the journalists were not even present at the event, and yet they "misrepresented the 'yoga and exercise' programme that was conducted on Sunday to mark "UP Diwas" or the state's foundation day.
Visuals from the programme, attended by the district magistrate, a state minister and local MLAs show the children in what appears to be their summer uniform, holding toy guns.
Another clip shows them in a room, performing exercises. A third clip, also shot indoors, shows them performing the "head stand" or 'shirshasana' in their summer uniform.
All the guests at the event can be seen clad in winter wear.
However, as per the UP official's complaint, the children were made to take off their winter wear only for the exercises.
"It is well-known that yoga and physical exercises cannot be carried out in winter wear and requires loose clothing. Local education officials followed this, and made the children take off their winter clothing and wear loose and light clothes for the exercises and then all the children immediately put on their winter wear again," the complaint reads.
A day after the event, a student who reportedly took part in the event, told reporters that a local teacher asked them to change their dress for the exercises. "We went to the venue wearing trousers, and a jacket and changed there," the student said in the interview.
"I am very pained to see that some journalists, who were not even there, have published news that the children were shivering in the cold. You can see that a child who performs Yoga cannot do it wearing a sweater or a coat or a pant. These children have performed very well , I appreciate them . Those who have carried this report... we are looking at who has done it," Kanpur dehat district magistrate Dinesh Chandra Singh said on the day of the event.