Days after the transcript of WhatsApp chat between Republic TV's Arnab Goswami and former BARC chairman Partho Dasgupta went viral on social media, Congress has now demanded action against Goswami for violating Official Secrets Act.
The purported chats widely reported in media mentioned that Goswami, the editor-in-chief of Republic TV, was privy to the Balakot airstrikes. The purported WhatsApp conversations are part of the chargesheet filed by Mumbai police in the court in the TRP case.
In a letter written to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the party has outlined the chats between the duo over the Pulwama attack and Balakot airstrike.
"Several transcripts from the chats have been published in the media and social media which bring up very disturbing and concerning issues especially regarding malpractices as well as compromise of information related to national security," read the letter written to Deshmukh.
"We are outlining some of these issues below for your kind consideration. In one chat transcript, Arnab Goswami tells Partho Dasgupta that he has confirmed information about India planning a cross-border surgical strike in Pakistan in retaliation for the Pulwama attack on our brave CRPF jawans. Even the date and time stamps on this message show that this chat happened; days before the Indian Air Force conducted an air strike on Balakot in Pakistan on 26th February 2019," it added.
The letter further asked as to how Goswami accessed the information and how many other people he leaked it to.
"Goswami's actions are a clear violation of Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 which forbids a person with knowledge of classified national security operations from revealing them to unauthorized persons," the letter added.
The party has demanded that the Inquiry be ordered to look into the matter of violation of Official Secrets Act. It has also mentioned about the alleged usage of the satellite frequencies of Doordarshan Prasar Bharati by Republic TV, without paying uplinking fees and reaching millions of additional subscribers.
Read the full letter here:
Apart from Congress, another MVA ally NCP has asked the government to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the purported chats between the duo.
Dasgupta, who was arrested in the fake Television Rating Point (TRP) case, is now in the ICU of state-run JJ hospital in central Mumbai.
A diabetic, he was rushed to the hospital from the Taloja Central Prison in Navi Mumbai on Saturday after his blood sugar levels went up on Friday midnight.
The Mumbai police had earlier told the court that Goswami had allegedly bribed Dasgupta with lakhs of rupees to ramp up Republic TV's viewership.
(With inputs from agencies)