Making predictions isn’t easy at the best of times, but it’s even harder in a volatile situation where things can change in a matter of minutes.
Several left-leaning journalists have been left with egg on their faces after gangster Vikas Dubey was arrested in Ujjain today morning. At 9:18 am, half an hour before the news of his arrest broke out, India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai had quoted a unnamed retired IPS officer as saying that Dubey was not likely to be arrested. “A retired IPS officer tells me: ‘It’s unlikely Vikas Dubey will be caught; he and associates will be mostly ‘encountered’, they know too many secrets about too many ‘big’ people’” well, it’s day 6 since the gangster escaped after killing 8 policemen. Watch this space,” he’d tweeted.
A retired IPS officer tells me: ‘It’s unlikely Vikas Dubey will be caught; he and associates will be mostly ‘encountered’, they know too many secrets about too many ‘big’ people’” well, it’s day 6 since the gangster escaped after killing 8 policemen. Watch this space!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) July 9, 2020
A few hours before that, journalist Swati Chaturvedi had confidently claimed that Vikas Dubey was in Nepal. ” So apparently Vikas has managed to reach Nepal,” she’d tweeted late last night.
Chaturvedi, like Sardesai, had also claimed that Vikas Dubey would be “encountered” because “dead men tell no tales.”
Her sentiment was echoed by The Wire’s Rohini Singh, who said that Dubey might be “encountered” because “powerful people” don’t want his tales to come out.
The “encountered” theory was quite popular among a certain cabal of journalists. The same idea was put forward by Newslaundry’s Meghnad in a “prediction.” “Prediction: Vikas Dubey’s entire gang will get eliminated in encounters, the Police-Politician-Gangster nexus will never be revealed and BJP supporters will scream out their support for UP Police,” he’d tweeted just yesterday.
As it turns out, Vikas Dubey was arrested in Ujjain today morning, and will soon be brought back to Uttar Pradesh. Neither has he been “encountered” as so many journalists had predicted, nor was in Nepal, as Swati Chaturvedi had claimed. Which just goes on to show little we should trust the “media” — at this point, journalists’ tweets seem to have about as much credibility as the gossip shared by neighbourhood aunties on WhatsApp.