India floods: Scandal video reporter sacked

Narayan Pargaien on shoulders of a man who is standing in flood waters Mr Pargaien said the man whose shoulders he perched on "wanted to show some respect"

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An Indian television journalist who reported on deadly floods while sitting on the shoulders of a survivor has been sacked, says the channel he worked for.

The reporter had been widely criticised after the video appeared online.

A News Express statement called his behaviour "inhuman". The channel says it did not broadcast the footage and does not know who uploaded it.

More than 800 people have died in floods and landslides which swept parts of northern India 10 days ago.

Video of Narayan Pargaien reporting from Uttarakhand state, which has borne the brunt of the disaster, has been viewed thousands of times online.

In it he perches on the shoulders of a man who is standing in flood waters, while the reporter delivers a piece to camera.

News Express said Mr Pargaien was guilty of "grave misconduct". What he had done was "not just inhuman but was also against the culture" of the channel, it said in a statement.

"You cannot ride on someone's back for a story. We terminated him on Tuesday," Nishant Chaturvedi, the head of the channel, told AFP news agency.

'We were helping'

Mr Pargaien had earlier sought to explain his actions, telling Indian media website newslaundry.com that the villager had asked him to report on the damage the floods had caused to his home.

"We helped him with some food and some money and he was grateful to us and wanted to show me some respect, as it was the first time someone of my level had visited his house," the reporter said.

"People are talking about us being inhuman and wrong - but we were actually helping some of the victims there."

Mr Pargaien accepted what he had done had been wrong - but seemed keener to pin the blame on his cameraman.

"The report was supposed to be telecast only with footage of me chest-up. This was entirely the cameraman's fault."

That prompted some to suggest he still had more to learn about journalistic ethics and where to draw the line.

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