Different treatments

How different newspapers report events makes interesting assessment. For instance, the report of the Patna youth shot by Mumbai police on October 27 makes interesting comparison.
Almost all national dailies had the report about Rahul Raj in their front pages on October 28. However, they differed in the content and details of the report.

The Times Of India put the age of Rahul Raj as 26. The Indian Express in its report said he was 25 years old. Interestingly, The Times Of India, on the reports in its inside pages reduced the youth’s age by three years. (Two reports in a later page of the TOI puts Rahul’s age as 23).

The Indian Express in its report mentions that the incident (Rahul Raj’s gun battle) took place at around 9 am in Kurla’s Bail Bazar area.
The TOI which relies more on the police version, says that Rahul boarded the bus at 9.15 am, that it after the incident (as per The Indian Express report) took place.

The report by The Times Of India which quotes Macchinder Ghule, (Hindustan Times put his name as Mahendra Dhule) the bus conductor, states that Rahul was carrying a bag and he kept opening it and checking something.

The Indian Express quotes one of the passengers of the bus, Abdul Rashid Sheik, that the only unusual thing about Rahul Raj was that he kept “shifting seats”. The newspaper also points out that the youth scribbled something on two currency notes and threw them out of the window. On the Rs 50 note he had written “Call the Police Commissioner” and on the Rs 10 note he wrote “I have not come here to harm anyone”.

TOI, which also pens the incident report in minute detail with a first hand account of the bus conductor who was held hostage by the youth, does not mention any such happening as throwing chits out of the window.

Hindustan Times in its report quotes Kundan Prasad Singh, Rahul’s father saying that his son had arrived in Mumbai on October 25 evening. This again does not coincide with the details with the other two dailies which mention that Rahul Raj had arrived in the city on morning of October 26.

The Hindustan Times story appears like a crime report. It says that 25-year-old Rahul Raj pulled out an iron chain and a gun, attacked the bus conductor, and began indiscriminate firing”. The reports in other dailies however convince us that Rahul was only upset with Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray and his campaign against Biharis.

The only passenger injured in the “indiscriminate firing” (as per HT) was 25-year-old Manoj Bhagat. The newspaper should verify its claims.