Home > News > Maharashtra probing Arnab’s sensitive Balakot chat | India News

Maharashtra probing Arnab’s sensitive Balakot chat | India News


MUMBAI: Even as the NCP joined Congress on Monday to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the purported WhatsApp chats between Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta which raised questions whether Goswami was privy to India’s Balakot air strikes in advance, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said the state government was “gathering information about the leaked chats”.
“Some highly sensitive things including the Balakot air strikes and the Pulwama attack have been mentioned in the chats. We are looking as to how Arnab Goswami got access to such sensitive information. We have called a meeting on Tuesday to decide our next course of action,” Deshmukh, who belongs to NCP, said.
The Pulwama attack, in which 40 CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel were killed, took place on February 14, 2019. In the midst of a WhatsApp conversation late in the evening of February 23, 2019, Goswami purportedly told Dasgupta, “On another note, something big will happen.” To Dasgupta’s “Dawood?” message, Goswami replied, “No sir, Pakistan. Something major will be done this time.”
When Dasgupta further inquired, “Strike? Or bigger,” Goswami answered, “Bigger than a normal strike.”
Details of the WhatsApp chats have triggered a political controversy over whether Goswami shared sensitive information with Dasgupta on the government’s plans for a retaliatory strike in the wake of the Pulwama attack. The conversation between the two purportedly took place on February 23, 2019 — three days before the air strikes in Balakot in Pakistan.
The chats are part of Mumbai police’s 3,600-page supplementary chargesheet filed in the TRP manipulation case.
Goswami went on to add after the Balakot reference, “And also, on the same time, something major on Kashmir. On Pakistan, the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated. Exact words used.”
Ever since the transcripts emerged in the public domain last weekend, the opposition has accused Goswami of leaking sensitive information related to national security, and questioned how and why he got hold of such information beforehand — when even the political opposition was in the dark. Congress leaders accused the Modi government of exploiting a defence-related issue to drum up popular support during the May 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The opposition has also demanded an inquiry into the matter, saying leak of such information was tantamount to endangering the lives of India’s security personnel.
In Chandrapur, the National Students’ Union of India, the students’ wing of Congress, on Monday lodged a complaint against Goswami for leaking sensitive information three days before the air strikes.

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