02/09/2019 3:52 PM IST

Journalist Booked For UP's Salt-Roti Mid-Day Meal Video, Says 'Recorded What I Saw'

According to the complaint, the journalist and the village head representative "conspired" and deliberately made the video in a well-planned manner.

Screengrab from video
Salt roti

A journalist, whose report on children in a government school in Uttar Pradesh Mirzapur district eating roti and salt for their mid-day meal went viral, has been booked by the state government for spreading defamatory news. 

PTI reported that journalist Pawan Kumar Jaiswal, village-head representative Rajkumar Pal and others have been booked under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharging duty), 193 (false evidence) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, a senior officer said.

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NDTV reported that the complaint was filed by the block education officer of the area. 

According to the complaint, Jaiswal and Pal conspired and deliberately made the video in a well-planned manner and did “despicable work” of maligning the image of the state government.

The FIR states that Pal was aware that only rotis were cooked and vegetable was not cooked in the school, but “instead of arranging it”, he called the journalist, who works in print media and “pressed him to run it” in electronic media.

“The journalist shot the video on his mobile and shared it to an electronic media agency,” it said.

However, Jaiswal refuted the allegations and said he only recorded what he saw. “Nothing in the video was ‘created’...”

The video of students of the Siyur Primary School in Jamalpur block of Mirzapur district being served salt and roti in their midday meal had gone viral on the social media on August 22, triggering outrage and leading to the suspension of two teachers.

As per norms under the flagship nutrition scheme, pulses, rice, rotis, vegetables, with fruits and milk on certain days, are to be served to school-going children to ensure necessary nutrition to them.

The midday meal scheme is designed to provide a minimum of 450 calories per child per day, which should include at least 12 grams of protein too each day. These meals should be served to each child at least 200 days a year.  

(with PTI inputs)