A political battle has erupted over WhatsApp transcripts of TV anchor Arnab Goswami submitted by Mumbai Police to a courtroom, with the opposition demanding an investigation into chats linked to the Balakot air strike to retaliate in opposition to the phobia assault on a safety convoy in Pulwama in February 2019.
The transcripts are part of the Mumbai police charge-sheet on the scores rip-off, through which Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV and two different channels are accused of gaming TRPs or Television Rating Points by manipulating households metred for viewership.
The transcripts of chats between Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, the previous CEO of scores company BARC, have the TV anchor saying three days earlier than the Balakot strike that “something big will happen”. He additionally mentioned it could be “bigger than a normal strike” and “the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated.”
When the ex-BARC chief requested if it was about “Dawood”, the Republic TV anchor replied, “No sir Pakistan. Something major will be done this time.”
The dialog is dated February 23, 2019, three days earlier than India despatched Air Force jets to Balakot in Pakistan to destroy a Jaish-e-Mohammad terror base.
The opposition has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation into whether or not nationwide safety was compromised.
“Did a journalist (and his friend) know about the retaliatory strike on Balakot camp three days before the actual strike? If yes, what is the guarantee that their ‘source’ did not share the information with others as well, including spies or informers working for Pakistan? How did a ‘For Your Eyes Only’ decision find its way to the government-supporting journalist?” tweeted Congress chief P Chidambaram, a former Union Minister.
Did a journalist (and his pal) know in regards to the retaliatory strike on Balakot camp three days earlier than the precise strike?
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) January 17, 2021
“The government gave sensitive information to Arnab Goswami. Information about Balakot and Article 370 was given to him,” mentioned Trinamool Congress member Mahua Moitra.
In a powerful message, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) mentioned: “These messages clearly establish collusion between the two in manipulating ratings to garner greater viewership numbers for Republic TV month after month by fraudulently manually reducing ratings of other channels to give Republic TV an unfair advantage. These WhatsApp messages not only reflect manipulation of ratings but is also about power play.”
Republic TV’s response got here in a press release to Pakistan through which it accused the Congress and “anti-Republic media” of serving to the Pakistani narrative. “Every Indian wanted revenge for the Pulwama terrorist attack, so for some in the Indian media to question why Republic expected the same is shameless opportunism,” mentioned the channel.