English news channel NDTV incorrectly reported on Wednesday that a Tanishq jewellery store in Gandhidham, Kutch Gujarat was attacked by a mob on Monday night following an uproar on social media over an ad that celebrated interfaith relations.
BOOM spoke to a local police official, two journalists and a shop owner in the same building as the Tanishq showroom in Gandhidham and confirmed that the store was not vandalised.
However, the journalists we spoke to said earlier in the week a group of people had demanded a written apology from the showroom following which a hand-written sign in Gujarati was pasted on the showroom's glass doors. A video showing a man speaking to store staff in Gujarati, emerged on Wednesday. The man could be heard saying, 'I want an assurance that you will put an apology outside and share it with me'.
BOOM could not independently verify the number of people who visited the store demanding an apology on Monday.
Tanishq has faced a massive backlash from the Indian right-wing for an ad that showed a baby shower being organised for a Hindu daughter-in-law by her Muslim in-laws. The company caved in to social media trolling eventually withdrawing the ad. Tanishq issued a statement on Tuesday saying it was pulling the ad keeping in mind 'hurt sentiments' and the well being of its employees, partners and store staff.
On Wednesday, NDTV ran a source-based story that claimed a store in Gandhidham was 'attacked'. The channel also reported that the manager was forced to write an apology note.
Earlier in the week an image showing a hand written note in Gujarati pasted outside a jewellery showroom went viral on social media. The apology written in Gujarati translates to 'the ad campaign of Tanishq going on in media today is shameful and Gandhidham Tanishq apologises to the Hindu society of Kutch district'.
Tweets that ran as 'breaking news' did not specify the story was based on input from sources and that the incident did not take place on Wednesday.
Several people interpreted the story as an act of vandalism, which was not the case.
However, after an audio clip of staff member at the showroom denying that an attack took place went viral, the channel was accused of peddling fake news.
Later in the day, the channel tweeted another statement saying, "the Gujarat police say people made threats at a Tanishq store after which store manager had to write an apology note. They claim this is not an attack. "
An editor at the channel declined to comment when BOOM reached out.
Multiple attempts to contact the Tansihq Gandhidham showroom on Wednesday went unanswered.
BOOM then reached out to Gandhidham police.
"We went to the showroom personally and found that there has been no attack on the showroom," a policeman who identified himself as Shankar told BOOM. The policeman also said that the store manager had not filed any complaint of vandalism or threats.
The owner of a cargo handling company which has its office on the upper floor of the same building which houses Tanishq showroom told BOOM that groups of people did come to the showroom but there was no attack or violence.
"We did see people coming here from October 12 onward but no ruckus was created neither was there any attack on the showroom. Today (October 14) police came here and there was a lot of buzz after that, but that's all about it," Yusuf, owner of the cargo handling company told BOOM.
BOOM also spoke to two local journalists who told us that there was no attack on the showroom. However, a group of people did go to the showroom seeking a written apology, they said.
"Some people from a village close to Gandhidham had come to the showroom asking the manager to issue an apology over the ad since religious sentiment of some people have been hurt. To avoid any further issue, the showroom had put up a banner outside and later removed it. Then a video went viral today showing a man speaking to the manager. Cops had gone to the showroom and they were told that there was no attack," the reporter said on condition of anonymity.
Watch the clip below.
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