Anees Ibrahim dead?

It was a day when news channels gloated over the speculated death of Anees Ibrahim in Karachi. One of the Hindi news channels claimed that they had information of an attack on Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Anees.

The news of firing on the gangster brothers was thrilling enough to catch the attention of rival news channels. “Anees Ibrahim was dead reportedly from 12 rounds of bullets fired at him and the underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim was injured in the attack.” Quite ironically, none of the channels tried to verify the news before announcing it to their audience.

By 1 o’ clock in the afternoon, all the Hindi news channels had picked up this news and had their reporters analyzing on the repercussions of this on the D Company. IBN7, ZEE NEWS, INDIA TV, NDTV INDIA, and NEWS24: no one missed it. It appeared that one of them started it and the rest followed suit. Not only did the anchors speculate on how the reported death of Anees Ibrahim was a huge setback for India’s most wanted gangster, Dawood Ibrahim, but also “attributed” the crime to the Bahuchchi Bhetti Gang.

News about the underworld attracts a lot of attention. Bollywood has been benign in dedicating a number of their films to the underworld. Most of them have been a hit with the audience. But theirs is a make-belief, unreal world. Journalism on the other hand has its obligation to truth. Its essence is a discipline of verification. The news channels at this instance, flouted both.

Same source

The channels were identical in their details. All of them specified that Anees and Dawood were shot at near the Al Habeeb Bank ATM in Karachi. Anees Ibrahim was dead and that Dawood was injured, the incident reportedly took place at 12:30 p.m in the night; they unanimously pointed out without disclosing their source. It was evident that the source of the news for all the channels was the same considering the identical nature of the account. One channel started it and the rest followed. After all, any story about the D Company is too sexy not to attract the attention of the news channels.

The channels continued reporting on the make-belief incident even when they could not confirm the news. IBN7 made a call to Shyam Keshwani, the advocate of D Company who made it clear that the news was baseless and there was no such attack on the Ibrahim brothers. He explicitly said that he had spoken to one of their relatives and that both Dawood and Anees were safe. Even this did not stop the coverage.

End of the drama

It was only later in the day when Annes Ibrahim himself disclosed to Aaj Tak that “he was not dead.” He clarified in a telephonic conversation that there was no such attack on him and that he was travelling in a plane at the time that the channels claimed he was allegedly attacked and killed in Karachi.

This article was published in The Hoot

Dipu Shaw