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.