Centre should take note of Arnab's purported chats: Deshmukh

PTI | Mumbai | Updated: 19-01-2021 17:21 IST | Created: 19-01-2021 17:21 IST
Centre should take note of Arnab's purported chats: Deshmukh

Maharashtra Home Minister AnilDeshmukh on Tuesday said the Centre should take note of thepurported chats between Republic TV editor-in-chief ArnabGoswami and ex-Broadcast Audience Research Council head ParthoDasgupta in connection with Balakot air strike.

The matter is ''serious'' as it relates to the nationalsecurity, Deshmukh told reporters here, and later, in a tweet,said the state government will also take legal advice on thismatter as ''it is evident that they were privy to the planrelated to national security''.

The purported chats widely reported in media mentionedthat Goswami was privy to the Balakot air strikes.

Deshmukh's remarks came after a Maharashtra Congressdelegation led by state party spokesperson Sachin Sawant methim here, seeking a probe into the matter and registration ofa case if necessary, for allegedly ''leaking sensitive andclassified information'' about national security.

Sawant also demanded Goswami's immediate arrest inthis connection.

After the delegation met him, Deshmukh told reportersthat, ''It is a very serious matter. It is an issue of nationalsecurity. The Centre definitely needs to take note of it.'' Later, the minister in a tweet said, ''We will alsotake legal advice on this matter as it is evident that theywere privy to the plan related to National security.'' ''The state government will take further legal actionafter discussions with senior police officials,'' he added.

In its memorandum submitted to Deshmukh, the Congressdelegation said it is a matter of ''gross concern'' that Goswamiwas allegedly not only privy to the information of the highestsecrecy regarding national security operations of the armedforces, but was also ''openly sharing'' it with Dasgupta.

The Congress asked how Goswami could allegedly accessthe information about the Indian Air Force's cross-border airstrike in Pakistan days before it happened shows ''compromise''of national security of the highest order.

''We wish to request you to kindly order an inquiry andregister a case if necessary under the Official Secrets Act-1923 against Goswami for leaking sensitive and classifiedinformation about a national security Armed Forces operationto an unauthorised person days before it happened,'' thememorandum said.

Sawant alleged in a statement issued later thatGoswami knew about the air strike three days in advance of it.

''How come Goswami knew such a confidential andsensitive information? This is a kind of treason and Goswamishould be arrested immediately,'' Sawant said.

The Congress delegation also accused the Republic TVof illegally using the satellite frequencies of Doordarshanwithout allegedly paying up-linking fees and reaching millionsof additional subscribers for free in an illegal manner.

''This matter of gross manipulation and causing lossesof crores to the Indian taxpayers by using DD frequenciesillegally needs to be investigated together with the TRP scamas it clearly points to a pattern of manipulating the law inthe interest of greater eyeballs by Republic TV,'' thedelegation alleged in the memorandum.

On Monday, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist CongressParty (NCP) asked the government to set up a JointParliamentary Committee to probe the purported chats betweenGoswami and Dasgupta.

Dasgupta was earlier arrested in the fake TelevisionRating Point (TRP) case.

The Mumbai police earlier told a court that Goswamihad allegedly bribed Dasgupta with lakhs of rupees to ramp upRepublic TV's viewership.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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