India's Sun TV draws flak over erroneous clip

India's Sun TV draws flak over erroneous clip

SINGAPORE - A police report was filed yesterday against Indian television station Sun TV over its news report on a riot that broke out in Little India on Sunday night.

Contrary to information that was emerging, the report, aired on Monday, claimed that the riot was sparked by a female bus driver who had pushed an Indian passenger off the bus and caused his death on the spot.

The news anchor, who spoke in Tamil, said that other Indians who had witnessed the scene became angry and attacked the bus driver, as well as the bus.

In turn, Singaporeans - including ethnic Chinese - attacked the Indians and more violence ensued, with two police vehicles set ablaze in the process.

A copy of the police report seen by MyPaper showed that an Indian Singaporean citizen had made the complaint after coming across a video of the news broadcast online. The station airs over cable TV here. By last evening, the video had made its rounds on social media, affronting netizens in Singapore.

Singapore's High Commissioner to India, Mr Lim Thuan Kuan, has sent a strongly worded letter to the network, requesting an immediate correction - both online and on broadcast.

He said Sun TV's report had been "irresponsible and brings to question its journalistic integrity", adding that it had not bothered to check the facts.

Lawyers MyPaper spoke to said it is unlikely that the television station, which is part of Sun TV Network in Chennai, will face any legal repercussions as it is not based in Singapore.

"It doesn't have a presence here, which means (whatever it reports) will not come under the jurisdiction of Singapore's laws," explained senior associate Choo Zheng Xi from Peter Low LLC.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg


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