A journalist in Uttar Pradesh has been cleared of the charges filed against him in September for reporting about schoolchildren in Mirzapur district being served chapatis and salt in mid-day meals, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. Pawan Jaiswal, a correspondent with local Hindi newspaper Jansandesh Times, had been charged with criminal conspiracy after his video went viral on social media, sparking outrage.
“We have given Jaiswal a clean chit, while a chargesheet has been filed against the other accused in the case,” said Superintendent of Police Dharm Veer Singh. “During our investigation, we found no evidence against Jaiswal.”
In the video shot by Jaiswal in August, around 100 students of Siyur primary school in Mirzapur’s Jamalpur block were seen eating rotis with salt for lunch. The National Human Rights Commission issued a notice to the state government after taking note of the video.
Days after the video appeared on social media, a first information report was registered at Ahraura police station against Jaiswal and village head representative Rajkumar Pal. The FIR stated that Pal had conspired to get the video shot by the journalist despite knowing that the cook was short of supplies for the meals.
The police have found Pal guilty after going through witness statements, reported Hindustan Times, which accessed the case diary that was prepared on December 8.