New Delhi: Days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the WhatsApp chats between Republic TV head Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta amounts to a breach in the Official Secrets Act, two Maharashtra Congress leaders amped up pressure on Goswami by filing police complaints.
In over 1,000 pages of chat transcripts submitted by Mumbai police to the court in the TRP scam case, Goswami is recorded revealing various details on current affairs to Dasgupta. On February 23, 2019, three days before the Balakot air strike of February 26, Goswami had purportedly informed Dasgupta of such an action.
According to a report by Indian Express, Congress leaders Sachin Sawant and Zeeshan Siddique filed the complaints in two police stations, Samta Nagar in Kandivali and Nirmal Nagar near Bandra, respectively.
Officially Filed complaint at Kandiwali’s Samtanagar police stn with ACP Mohite & Senior PI Hake against Arnab Goswami demanding his immediate arrest for breaching Section 5 of OSA & investigate. It needs to be known asto – Who gave him info regarding Balakot strike? pic.twitter.com/YMTTvnA8N5
— Sachin Sawant सचिन सावंत (@sachin_inc) January 27, 2021
The complaints asked that FIRs be filed against Goswami for the information leak.
Rahul Gandhi had earlier alleged that only five people including the prime minister and the defence minister would have had prior information of the planned strikes.
“Some days back it came out that a journalist knew about the air strikes in Balakot. Three days before the (Indian) air force bombed Pakistan, an Indian journalist was told it was going to happen,” he said in a public address.
“This meant the lives of our IAF pilots were put at risk,” he said.
“Now, five people in this world knew about Balakot (air strikes). Prime Minister of India, the Defence minister of India, the National Security Adviser and the Chief of the Air Force and the Home Minister.”
“Nobody else in the world knew about Balakot before it happened. Now I want to understand why an inquiry has not started on who told this journalist about Balakot before it happened. The reason is that one of these five people told this man. One of these five people betrayed our Air Force,” he added.
Gandhi has also repeatedly questioned why the prime minister has not been vocal about the breach.
“If the Prime Minister did not do it then why is he not ordering an inquiry. Think about it. The only reason that the Prime Minister has not ordered an inquiry is because he is the person through which that message has gone to this journalist,” Gandhi claimed.
“The fact that this information is on WhatsApp and this gentleman (Goswami) knows it three days before… of course Official Secrets Act has been breached. The act has been breached by one of those five people and also by this person who is busy telling somebody else,” he said, expressing fears that “enemy forces” could access such information too if it was on such social media platform.