Now Reading: Indian Anchor Arnab Goswami’s Whatsapp Chat About Balakot Attack Leaked
Indian news anchor who has always been seen maligning Pakistan’s image and blaming it for terrorism is now in hot waters after his leaked chats.
Hundreds of pages of purported WhatsApp Chats between Arnab Goswami, the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, and Partho Dasgupta, the former CEO of BARC has been made made public by a supplementary charge sheet. It was filed by the Mumbai police in the TRP scam involving the pro-BJP news channel Republic TV and the television ratings measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC.
The chats revealed that Arnab Goswami was aware of the decisions being taken at the highest level including military decisions in India. They made some startling revelations about the Balakot attack on February 26, 2019.
These WhatsApp chats reveal that India killed its own soldiers in Pulwama and then blamed Pakistan. Narendra Modi kept shedding fake tears and tried to gain votes by killing own soldiers.
Arnab Goswami was aware not only of the attack on Balakot but also of the repeal of Article 370. He worked with the head of the rating agency BARC to increase the rating of his channel.
Just three days before the Balakot strike, the conversation begins with Goswami boasting about Republic TV bagging then Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s first-ever interview after the Pulwama incident.
Then Goswami texted Dasgupta: “On another note, something big will happen”. To which the BARC CEO asked, “Dawood?”
“No sir Pakistan. Something major will be done this time,” Goswami replied.
Dasgupta remarked: “It’s good for the big man in this season” and that “he will sweep polls then,”
As it was just before the elections in India it is very clear that these remarks were about Narendra Modi, referring to the extra votes he would get from initiating aggression against Pakistan in election season.
Dasgupta then asked for further clarity: “Strike? Or bigger”. And Goswami reportedly responded, saying that it would be “bigger than a normal strike”.
Goswami knew that something unusual was going to happen in Kashmir. According to Goswami, the Modi government wanted to win public votes with its anti-Pakistan action. Just three days after these chats the Indian Air Force carried out a strike targeting a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp in the Pakistani town of Balakot. The attack was billed as India’s response to the attack in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the Balakot attack, Goswami told the BARC chief that further action would be taken.
Balakot Attack on February 26, 2019
On February 26 last year, Indian fighter jets had entered into Pakistani territory with the intention to bomb a madrassah in Balakot but had to retreat in haste after the Pakistan Air Force took quick action.
The Indian jets dropped their payload in sovereign Pakistani territory near the old madrassah, but failed to inflict any material damage apart from ruining a few trees.
The next day, Pakistan had responded to the provocation by sending fighter jets across the Line of Control in a tit-for-tat response. The jets locked on to Indian military positions, then returned after issuing ‘warning’ shots to them. Caught off balance, Indian forces had shot down one of their own helicopters in friendly fire, killing all troops on board.
When India again sent fighter jets to chase the Pakistani jets down, the Pakistan Air Force launched a successful ‘surprise’ attack, taking down two Indian fighter aircraft in an aerial dogfight and taking an Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, prisoner.
In a widely hailed gesture of peace, the officer was released and returned home to India.
The chats also reveal Dasgupta asking Goswami to reach out to the government on his behalf, showing Goswami’s links with the Indian Government. In one such exchange on April 4, 2019, the former ratings agency chief asks Goswami if he can stall the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s proposal to make BARC’s viewing data public. Dasgupta asks Goswami for some action from a certain “AS”. In reply, Goswami says he could do what Dasgupta asked for.
This chat also includes a conversation where Dasgupta asks Goswami to get him a job as “media advisor” in the Prime Minister’s Office, while at several instances the Republic TV journalist refers to his proximity to “PMO” and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
It may be recalled that Arnab Goswami was arrested on November 4, 2020, in connection with the suicide of a woman and her son.
An operation to manipulate television ratings was uncovered in October in India accusing some channels of rigging their ratings by bribing some households to watch their programs.
The manipulations resulted in Republic TV being depicted as the top-ranked channel.
Earlier this month, Mumbai Police informed the Bombay High Court that they have found more evidence against Goswami in relation to the case.
Thirteen people have been arrested in the case so far, including Republic TV Chief Executive Officer Vikas Khanchandani. He has since been released on bail.
Former BARC Chief Operation Officer Romil Ramgarhia remains in custody as does former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.
Box Cinema and Marathi channel Fakt Marathi were the other channels named during the preliminary investigation.
Disturbance among Indian Politicians
Following the revelations, Indian Congress party leaders have raised serious questions regarding leakage of sensitive information to media. Opposition politicians on Sunday demanded a probe of purported WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami.
Congress party MP Manish Tewari said a joint parliamentary committee should take up the issue as the government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) remained silent.
“If what sections of Media is reporting is correct then it points towards a direct linkage between Balakot air strikes and 2019 General elections. Was National Security milked for electoral purposes ? Needs a JPC investigation,” Tewari wrote on Twitter.
Congress Party spokesperson and senior Supreme Court lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi also said: “Arnab’s chats dated 23.02.2019 refer to sharing of Intel reaction along the Pak border. It means someone very senior in Govt is leaking highly confidential info which may endanger the lives of our soldiers and so that mercenary considerations can add to TRPs.”
It should be noted that Indian Professor Ashok Swain has already termed Pulwama as a drama. According to Prof. Ashok, Modi did in Pulwama what he did in Gujarat in 2002. Now this is a strong evidence that The Pulwama Attack was just a staged drama to garner votes by Narendra Modi.