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Pranita Mehta

How TOI and The Hindu made a Mockery of a Young Girl’s Death

It is important to understand the abysmal levels to which India’s journalism has fallen to these days.  This helps us take everything peddled by these Tabloids-masquerading-as-Newspapers with a lot more than a “pinch of salt”!

How TOI and The Hindu made a Mockery of a Young Girl's Death Click To Tweet

Times of India ran an entire video on this yesterday with the news on the first page – titled ‘Perfect-selfie’ kills Jodhpur law student at Gokarna beach – The Hindu also ran it titled – Girl taking selfie falls into sea, dies.  This is what The Hindu said of the incident:

Pranita Sunil Mehta (21) of Jodhpur in Rajasthan died while taking a selfie near the Lighthouse at Gokarn in Kumta taluk on Sunday, according to reports reaching here on Monday. She slipped into the sea from a boulder while taking the selfie.

But that is not how it happened!  Someone known to Pranita has written about the whole incident and has expressed shock and sorrow on how the media has made a complete mockery of her friend’s untimely and sad death!  As Roshni says in the comments – Various news agencies were contacted to retract the false reports.  Some have, some haven’t!

Pranita Mehta - Source Facebook page
Pranita Mehta – Source Facebook page

The real story as shared by Pranita’s friend on Reddit is:

Pranita, who was a student of National Law University, Jodhpur, was visiting Gokarna with four of her friends. They were at Kumta beach, and were sitting on some rocks which were about 10-15 feet above sea, when due to unexpected high tide, 3 of the youngsters, including the deceased, were flown away by a giant wave. Two of them were brought back to the shore by another wave, but the deceased, whose glasses had come off, continued to struggle as she held on to a rock for support she bravely struggled and tried to swim for 45 mins. Unfortunately, she lost her grip, and was carried towards the deeper end of the sea by the waves. The friends promptly called the Police as well as the Management of the Hotel they were staying at, and proceeded to seek help from the local residents from a nearby village. However, they could not understand the youngsters’ plea for help, and by the time they did send some help, about forty minutes had already passed and the deceased was out of sight. She was brought back ashore on a boat by some of the local fishermen, and was pronounced dead by the authorities. Her body was taken for post-mortem and was handed over to her relatives afterwards.

Here is the FIR of the death which corroborates her story.

FIR of Pranita's Death
FIR of Pranita’s Death

The friend has gone on to say how Pranita was an achiever in her own right.  Like any other girl of her age with lots of energy, Pranita was full of life.

She was an amazing person, extremely intelligent, she was the class topper and represented India and NLUJ at prestigious events such as Jessup, she was kind and warm hearted.

Here she is winning at the Jessup15 while representing India.

Pranita Mehta - Achiever
Pranita Mehta, the achiever – [Top 16 + the Hardy C. Dillard Award (4th Place) (just announced) + the Alona E. Evans Award (3rd Place)
Best team everrr! #Jessup2015]

Media, Don’t Mock a Girl in her Death.. please!

She could have been any girl – your or my daughter or sister.  She represents us all in some way.  Even those in media, who either wilfully or because of utter laziness did not report the news correctly and gave it a sensational twist!  Imagine how it would impact the parents and those near and dear to her?

But this raises a very disturbing question – If something as non-political and non-ideological as a young girl’s death – the events leading to which were so simple that anyone could have figured it out – was reportedly with complete falsehood, by the top two Newspapers in the country, can you imagine what happens to news which is political?

Featured Image: Facebook Page of Pranita

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4 Comments on "How TOI and The Hindu made a Mockery of a Young Girl’s Death"

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Archana Kapoor
June 2, 2016 1:43 pm

sad sad very sad! 🙁

Roshni Namboodiry
June 2, 2016 8:20 pm

Mr. Kapoor, I did not post the Reddit thread. Various news agencies were contacted to immediately withdraw the false reports and publish accurate details of the incident. Please correct the mistake in your article. Thanks.