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As the controversy over the sting operation on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rages, Anuranjan Jha, who runs www.mediasarkar.com, the website that conducted the investigation, is a busy man. Countless media houses have been attempting to contact him, the AAP has threatened to charge him with defamation, and the Election Commission is scrutinising unedited footage of the sting.
Jha, who also runs India’s first matrimonial television channel, Shagun TV, is a sting specialist of sorts. “My career in journalism spans 18 years. I have primarily been a reporter specialising in investigations. I started Media Sarkar in 2009 as a website for journalists,” he said.
Before launching Shagun TV, Jha has worked with Cobrapost, Zee News, Aaj Tak, S1, India News and Jansatta, and was most recently chief operating officer of the news channel CNEB which shut down last year. Jha now works out of an office in Noida, from where Media Sarkar and Shagun TV are run.
The AAP sting is Media Sarkar’s first investigation since inception. On Friday, the website crashed after receiving its heaviest traffic ever. “I have been associated with Anna Hazare since the 13-day movement in 2011, and had high hopes from the AAP when it was launched. But over the last few months, people within the party informed me of problems,” hesaid.
He said he then commissioned the sting. “Two reporters with Media Sarkar were involved in this operation. It took more than a month to complete,” Jha said.
He has turned over the raw footage to the poll panel after refusing to give it to the AAP. “Those facing accusations cannot pass judgment on themselves. We will give the raw footage to any media house or constitutional authority but not the AAP,” Jha said.