Pawan Jaiswal, a freelance journalist who uncovered how a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district served kids salty roti for lunch, died of mouth cancer

Pawan Jaiswal, a freelance journalist who uncovered how a government school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district served kids salty roti for lunch, died of mouth cancer on Thursday. Jaiswal died less than a month after making a fundraising appeal for cancer treatment.

Many individuals had come forward to aid the journalist, including AAP MP Sanjay Singh, who himself has been battling cancer.

Jaiswal had tweeted, tagging Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi “We have done journalism with integrity in the past, revealing that children were being fed salt roti. But now I’m starting to lose hope. I’m currently in need of funds for treatment. I’m facing cancer at the moment. @myogiadityanath @yadavakhilesh @priyankagandhi, please help.”

In 2019, Jaiswal was arrested for reportedly spreading a video depicting students in a primary school in Shiur, Mirzapur, being offered salt and roti (chappatis) during a mid-day meal. After a probe, he was granted a clean chit.

A video went popular on social media, bringing the issue to light.

On August 31, just over a week after the video went viral, a case was filed against Jaiswal and Rajkumar Pal, the representative of the village head of Hinauta hamlet in the same district.

The two individuals were charged under IPC sections 186 (willfully hindering a public officer in the performance of his duty), 193 (false evidence), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), and 420 (criminal conspiracy) (cheating).

Jaiswal was cleared after a three-month investigation, while the claims against Pal were judged to be genuine.

The headmaster was suspended after the video and news reports of the students being served roti with salt generated uproar.