Indian opposition seeks probe into security leak after TV anchor’s messages emerge
Indian opposition parties called on Monday for an investigation into chat messages from a top TV anchor that they said showed prior knowledge of
air strikes carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government against Pakistan in 2019.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV network, told the head of a TV ratings agency that India would launch a “bigger than a normal strike” on its arch-rival -- three days before Indian combat jets struck alleged militant targets on Pakistani soil.
The raid brought the two nations to the brink of war.
“On Pakistan, the government is confident of striking in a way that people will be elated,” a transcript of the messages sent by Goswami said. “Exact words used.”
Read more: Indian police arrest and charge TV news anchor for suicide abetment
The messages, reported by Indian media and seen by Reuters, are part of a charge-sheet filed by police in Mumbai investigating alleged fixing of ratings by Republic -- charges the network denies.
Goswami denied prior knowledge of the air strikes, that were carried out weeks after an attack by Pakistan-based Islamist militants on an Indian paramilitary convoy in the Pulwama district of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
“India’s intention to hit back at Pakistan after the Pulwama attack was an officially-stated position,” he said in a statement released by Republic.
“There was no doubt in any nationalist Indian’s mind that we would hit back,” he added, accusing opposition parties of acting as a “mouthpiece” for Pakistan.
Spokesmen for India’s defense and foreign ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the transcripts.
Republic has often adopted positions supportive of the Modi government and Goswami is known for his aggressive attacks on the opposition in his prime-time nightly program, one of the country’s most watched.
India’s main opposition Congress party, as well as Shiv Sena, a regional party that governs Maharashtra state where the TV channel is based, have both called for a government inquiry into the messages.
Shashi Tharoor, a Congress lawmaker, said the messages required “serious inquiry” by the Modi government, which has made national security a top priority.
The messages have reignited tensions with Pakistan, with Islamabad’s foreign ministry saying the transcripts showed the strikes were engineered to coincide with a general election that Modi won by a landslide a few months later.
Indian police arrest and charge TV news anchor for suicide abetmentIndian police on Wednesday said they arrested a firebrand television news anchor and charged him with abetment to suicide in connection with the 2018 ... World News
Soldier killed by Indian fire in Kashmir, says PakistanPakistan’s military said Indian troops opened fire across the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir on Thursday, killing a Pakistani ... World News
India tells UNSC Pakistan behind plot ‘to wreak major havoc’ in KashmirIndia on Monday told the main UN Security Council powers that it feels pressure to hit back at Pakistan after accusing its neighbor of arming four ... World News
India summons Pakistani diplomat over alleged foiled border attackIndia on Saturday summoned a senior Pakistani diplomat over what New Delhi said was a foiled attack this week in the frontier territory of Jammu and ... World News
Pakistan vows to respond to any Indian aggression in KashmirPrime Minister Imran Khan warned India Wednesday that Pakistan was prepared to respond to any aggression in the disputed region of Kashmir, vowing the ... World News
Pakistan PM accuses India of war hysteria over downed F-16 claimPakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for “whipping up war hysteria” over claims ... World News
US count shows no Pakistan F-16s shot down in Indian battle, says reportPakistan’s F-16 combat jets have all been accounted for, US-based Foreign Policy magazine said, citing US officials, contradicting an Indian air ... World News