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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Indian anchor Arnab Goswami knew about Balakot strike: reveals Whatsapp chat leaks

‘Bigger than a normal strike’-this is what Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV had said to Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcast Audience Research Council.

Indian firebrand anchor, Arnab Goswami, knew about the Indian government’s plans to strike Balakot in Pakistan, reveals the shocking Whatsapp chat leaks.

‘Bigger than a normal strike’-this is what Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV had said to Chief Executive Officer of the Broadcast Audience Research Council, Partho Dasgupta, in an alleged Whatsapp chat dated February 23rd 2019, three days before, strike on Balakot in February 26th.

The latest revelation came during the investigations of the Television Rating Scam involving Goswami. The transcript is part of the 3400 supplementary charge sheet against Goswami in the TRP scam case filed by Mumbai Police against an Indian anchor who is known for running malicious propaganda against Pakistan in his shows.

Read more: Pulwama: An equilibrium of deterrence that fell apart

The Whatsapp chats running over 1000 pages showed the complicity between Goswami and Dasgupta. It also showed Goswami’s close link to Prime Minister Office and Information and Broadcast ministry.

The revealed transcript that Goswami was in the know about the revocation of Article 370 and 35-A in Jammu Kashmir and New Delhi’s plan to strike in Balakot.

Arnab Goswami: Balakot strike, Whatsapp chat leak

India had conducted a strike in Balakot following a suicide attack on Indian soldiers in the Pulwama area of Jammu Kashmir killing at least 40 Indian troops.

The alleged Whatsapp chats discussed in detail the revocation of the article 370 and Pulwama attack. Goswami is said to be writing to Dasgupta about how the Pulwama attack has helped his channel. “This attack we have won like crazy,” he allegedly wrote to Dasgupta the same evening at 5:43 pm.

A similar conversation between them held after a few days, which suggests Goswami was fully aware of the Indian Air Force to strike Pakistan on February 26th, 2019.

Goswami said to Dasgupta, ‘something big will happen this time’. Dasgupta asked if he is talking about Dawood. Goswami replies, “No sir Pakistan. Something major will be done this time…. Bigger than a normal strike. And also at the same time something major on Kashmir. In Pakistan, the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used (sic).”

Read more: Pakistan and India in post-Pulwama scenario: Is the threat of War over?

A day after the Balakot strike, Dasgupta asked Goswami if this is what he was talking about. To which the anchor said, “More to Come”.

TRP scam

The chat also reveals that Dasgupta had asked Goswami to use his contacts to get him appointed as the media advisor of PM Narendra Modi. “If you can please get me a media advisor kind of position with PMO,” Dasgupta wrote to Goswami on October 16th, 2019, suggesting that Goswami was misusing his proximity to the government.

The TRP scam involving Republic TV chief Goswami and other Indian channels had come to light in October. It is alleged that Goswami and other TV channels had ‘rigged’ ratings. The controversy had led the Mumbai Police to register a case against BARC- a leading body to publish TRPs in India, Goswami, and other media figures in India.

The Police claim that the conversation between Dasgupta and Goswami came to halt when a case was filed against them.

Police claim that Dasgupta was arrested in late December 2020. It is alleged that Dasgupta was bribed in lakhs to manipulate the Republic TV TRP’s. “Dasgupta misused his official position and manipulated TRP of specific news channels broadcast by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd such as Republic Bharat Hindi and Republic TV English,” the remand notice said.