Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami | YouTube screengrab
Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami | YouTube screengrab
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New Delhi: The Congress has launched a multi-pronged attack at Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami over leaked WhatsApp chats that purportedly suggest he was privy to India’s plans to conduct airstrikes against Pakistan — in retaliation to the February 2019 Pulwama attack — days before they took place.

Congress student wing National Students Union of India (NSUI) has filed a police complaint against Goswami in Maharashtra, youth arm Youth Congress organised a protest in Delhi Monday, and scores of senior party leaders — including former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and former junior Foreign Minister Shashi Tharoor — have taken to Twitter to note that the chats pose serious questions about national security. 

Goswami’s purported WhatsApp chats with former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) chief executive Partho Dasgupta created a storm when they went viral Friday. 

Running over 1,000 pages long, they are part of Mumbai Police’s charge sheet, submitted before a court, in a case pertaining to alleged manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRPs) by news channels, including Republic TV.  

Among other things, the chats purportedly show Goswami having prior knowledge of major government decisions such as the Balakot airstrikes and the scrapping of Article 370

On 14 February 2019, hours after the Pulwama attack, Goswami purportedly texted Dasgupta that it worked well for his channel’s TRPs. In another conversation on 23 February 2019, Goswami allegedly referred to the government’s plans to strike Pakistan “in a way that people will be elated”.

While the NSUI has accused Goswami of “treason”, senior Congress leaders have called for a thorough investigation in the matter.

ThePrint sent a text message and a voice mail to Goswami asking for a comment but didn’t receive a response till the time of publishing this report.


Also read: ‘Bigger than a normal strike’ against Pakistan, Arnab Goswami said 3 days before Balakot


‘Betrayal’

NSUI national secretary Roshan Lal Bittu filed a complaint in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, accusing Goswami of being a “treacherous person before the people of India”.

“The WhatsApp conversations between Mr Goswami and the Broadcast Audience Research Council reveals (sic) that Mr Goswami was informed, by secret source, about the Balakot attack before it was commenced on 26th February 2019,” the complaint states.

The NSUI’s complaint further states that Goswami, “to increase the TRP of his TV channel has played with the nation and exposed the secrecy of Government of India”, and that his act is a “betrayal with the belief of the people of the country”.

Speaking to ThePrint, Bittu said Maharashtra Police is investigating the matter. “Since there is already an ongoing investigation into the fake TRP matter, in this complaint we are specifically asking the police to also look into the national security breach,” Bittu added.

Prakash Hake, a police inspector at the Ramnagar Police station in Chandrapur, said the NSUI had “just submitted a nivedan (memorandum)”. 

“I was told that they have submitted this to several police stations across the country. As per procedure, we forwarded it to the SP (superintendent of police) office,” he added.

‘National security milked for electoral purposes?’

The Youth Congress launched a protest in New Delhi Monday, demanding an investigation into the matter, which they labelled “ArnabGate”. 

On Twitter, multiple senior leaders of the Congress raised questions over the mention of the airstrikes in Goswami’s purported chats.

Chidambaram Sunday asked “what is the guarantee that their ‘source’ did not share the information with others as well, including spies or informers working for Pakistan?”  

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan asked the government to launch a “thorough probe” into the matter.

MP Shashi Tharoor pointed to “3 reprehensible things requiring serious inquiry”.

Fellow MP Manish Tewari, meanwhile, asked if “national security” had been “milked for electoral purposes?” and demanded an investigation.

At a press conference Sunday, chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party is “examining” the charge sheet in detail, and will soon share their views on why the case requires an investigation.

“How financial frauds happened, involvement of officials in high positions, and some conversations even talked about ‘buying’ judges and deciding portfolios for ministers — this is akin to playing with national security and shows the hollowness of those in power,” Surjewala added.


Also read: Pakistan terms Pulwama a ‘false flag op’ after Arnab WhatsApp chats, Republic slams ‘desperation’


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. Arnab Goswami should be jailed permanently for running such a useless channel, which only shows several people shouting against each other all the time. I wonder if anyone would watch his channel even if they get paid for it!!

  2. It’s high time this spectacled con man is reined in. He’s reduced Indian journalism to a crude spectacle for his own personal gain.

  3. Good job Mumbai Police👍🤣
    Send the bugger to Taloja for life.
    He’s been playing fast and loose for too long with too many innocent lives for personal benefit. High time this con man is demolished.

  4. Ha ha, take off your green goggles.
    It is Congress, which has betrayed this nation by signing a secret MOU with China and opposing every move to safeguard country from external and internal threats. List is almost endless, Rafale brouhaha, MOU secrecy, Pandemic behavior, and so on and so forth.

  5. ThePrint.in still see credibility in the statements of Congress leaders while for majority of Indians, Congress leaders have lost all credibility. Lies don’t stick to Modi, the visionary leader of modern India.

  6. Congratulations for identifying ARNAB as a person who should be tried for treason.

    Congratulations for protecting renowned human right activist and social worker MUKHTAR ANSARI

    It is clear that congrass is identifying itself with SECULAR VOTERS and will ensure that non believers and infidels will henceforth be treated as indulging in Treason.

  7. You can’t launch an investigation without specific evidence. All the chats seem to reveal is that he knew a big strike was going to take place. As did almost everyone else.

  8. modi being invited to G-7 meeting can also be a news item if you are running fair journalism. what say guptaji?

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