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DD Gujarat asst director exiled to Andaman over report on PM wife

MUMBAI: While Prasar Bharati has been clamouring for autonomy, the public broadcaster, in a bizarre case of irony, has transferred one of its assistant directors from Ahmedabad to Andaman. The reason allegedly is that DD’s Gujarati channel ran a news story on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s estranged wife Jashodaben.

Assistant director VM Vanol, who is going to retire in two years, was given transfer orders in the second week of January.

Incidentally, DD Girnar had aired a two-minute capsule on 1 January which referred to Jashodaben filing an RTI petition with Gujarat Police seeking details of her entitlements as PM’s wife.

While DD officials said that the transfer was an editorial and administrative decision, Vanol confirmed to business daily ET that he had been transferred to the Port Blair station in the Andamans while refusing to go into details of what led to his transfer.

ET reported that the day after the clip was aired, top bureaucrats from the I&B ministry in New Delhi spoke to DD Ahmedabad Kendra officials and demanded an explanation. Four people—a joint director and three assistant directors including Vanol—who were in charge of putting news together that day, were allegedly pulled up, as per the report.