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Monday,27-September-2021

Crime

Leaking classified info act of ‘treason’: Congress on Arnab Goswami chat

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Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami

Upping the ante against the government over journalist Arnab Goswami’s purported social media chat leak, the Congress on Wednesday described it as an act of “treason” and demanded an immediate inquiry over leaking of such classified information about the Balakot air strikes.

The Congress also said it will raise the issue of the alleged chat leaks in Parliament’s Budget session.

The Congress brought out several senior members of the party to corner the government over the issue with former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Law Minister Salman Khurshid and party spokesperson Pawan Khera.

Addressing a press conference here at the party headquarters, Antony said, “The contents of the leaked chats between Goswami of Republic TV and the former CEO of BARC is a serious issue for the entire nation.”

Antony said that for a very patriotic Indian, it is a shock and a serious matter of concern because it affects national security.

The Congress leader said that it effects the security of armed forces, especially in this case, the security of brave air warriors. “And also in the way they (Goswami and BARC CEO) mentioned the martyrdom of 40 CRPF men is all a serious concern for us,” Antony said.

He said that the people of the country and the political parties might have differences on several issues but are united when it comes to national security cutting across the religious and party lines to protect the country.

“But now it is very clear that classified documents that too considering the national security and also considering the most sensitive secret air strikes were available with the people who were not expected to know it, and were not authorised to get these documents,” Antony said.

He said “I am very sad and shocked” over the leaked chats between Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and the language they used while mentioning the martyrdom of 40 CRPF troopers.

Firing salvos at the government, the Congress leader said, “Three days before the Balakot air strikes, how did one journalist come to know of the details of it? It would have effected the operation and its effectiveness.”

Only very few people are expected to be in the know of such secret information, to know the details of the military operations. “Even all the Cabinet ministers are not expected to get that as only a few handful of people and few military people are informed about such operations,” he said.

“These documents were leaked to the media, but not the entire media but to only one journalist by the people who were in top positions of the government,” he alleged.

“Leaking official secrets about the military operation, national security matters, sensitive military operations especially air force strike is treason and anti-national activity,” he alleged.

“It is not only criminal activity, it is anti-national activity and a treason. Whoever has done they must be punished for anti-national activities and treason,” he said.

Questioning the silence of the government over the issue, Antony said, “Even till today the government has not said anything on this. I am sure these anti-national activities or leakage of secret military operations was among the four or five civilian people. I don’t suspect anybody. But one of them is suspect. It needs to be enquired immediately on a war footing. And whoever is guilty should be punished for treason.”

He also said that the journalist who got such secret military operation details has to be punished.

“Urgently the government must order an enquiry. And whoever is responsible and whoever is part of the leakage of military operations should be shown no mercy and he has to be punished,” Antony said.

Shinde said that what Goswami has done is not just shameful for the country but also for journalism. “In last several years no media organisation or any journalist has done such act,” he said.

He said that the country has seen several wars and the governments of different parties, but such an act of leakage of official secrets was never witnessed.

“They were celebrating on Pulwama after our 40 CRPF troopers were killed in a terror attack,” the former Home Minister said, referring to the chats of Goswami and Partho Dasgupta.

On Tuesday, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had also slammed the government and said that leaking sensitive information related to national security to a journalist is a “criminal act” and persons behind this should be put in prison.

Crime

Huge cache of weapons seized under ‘Operation Disarm’ by TN Police

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The special police team constituted by Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C. Sylendra Babu, named ‘Operation Disarm’, has seized more than 900 weapons, including three firearms.

The raids conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning also rounded up 2,500 rowdy elements in South Tamil Nadu.

The arrest and seizure of weapons followed the four beheadings that took place in South Tamil Nadu, specifically in Dindigul and Tirunelveli districts in the past 12 days.

The DGP in a high-level meeting of the police officers at Madurai directed them to investigate murder cases that were even ten years old. He also called upon the officers to conduct routine raids at the residences and premises of rowdy elements in these districts.

The DGP also told the police officers to round up and arrest those people who can be involved in possible retaliatory attacks. Police officers said that the DGP also directed them to intensify night patrolling and not to allow any untoward incidents to happen in the days to come.

According to a senior DSP who was present in the meeting, the DGP was furious over the back-to-back murders in these districts and the resurgence of caste wars that had dominated South Tamil Nadu during the mid-1990s.

Sociologist and Professor at a foreign university M.K. Krishnan, who hails from Madurai, while speaking to IANS said, “Police have to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands. However, unless the sublime issue of caste is not weeded out this will reappear in one form or the other.

“While the present DMK government has had a good start, the awareness on the futility of fights over castes have to be inculcated in young minds and for that good education is very important. These youths who are involved in beheadings will not be allowed to be given any heroic receptions.”

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Crime

Carcass of tiger found in Dudhwa reserve

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The carcass of a tiger was found on Sunday in the Mailani range of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

The carcass was found alongside the Gola-Pilibhit road near Chhedipur village here and the tiger is said to be two years old.

Sanjay Kumar Pathak, field director of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR), said that all vital organs, including jaws and nails, were intact though there were some abrasion marks on the carcass.

“The circumstances indicate that the tiger died in a road accident or it could be due to fighting during the mating season,” Pathak said.

He said the exact cause of the death could be ascertained after post mortem by a team of experts from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly.

The post mortem would be conducted according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines, Pathak said.

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Crime

Pramod Tiwari denies hand in attack on BJP MP

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Former Congress MP Pramod Tiwari has rejected the allegation that he was behind the attack on Pratapgarh BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta.

Tiwari, speaking on the phone, said, “He is trying to gain attention in the party and increase his TRP ahead of the Assembly elections.”

Tiwari alleged that Gupta had himself torn his clothes and there might have been a scuffle between the workers which somebody told me. Nobody attacked the MP, Tiwari said.

The BJP MP had alleged that the supporters of Congress leader Pramod Tiwari had beaten him on Saturday as the supporters of both clashed at the ‘Garib Kalyan Mela’ in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP alleged that the video of the attack was a proof and Gupta was beaten up in the presence of Tiwari and his daughter Aradhana Mishra, who is congress leader in the Assembly.

Both have refuted the allegation and said, “Gupta was making allegations because in Pratapgarh BJP was feeling helpless, so they are resorting to such cheap tactics.”

Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, Congress legislature party leader Aradhana Mishra and 48 others have been booked under Section 307 (attempt to murder), 146 (rioting) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) at the Lalganj police station in Pratapgarh.

The case was registered late on Saturday night after BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta, with his supporters, blocked traffic on the Prayagraj-Pratapgarh road for several hours.

Earlier on Saturday, several people were injured as Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers came to blows during the Gareeb Kalyan Mela held at Sangipur development block auditorium in Pratapgarh district.

BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was also allegedly beaten up and had to be rescued by the police and escorted to a safe place.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was also manhandled and Aradhana Mishra’s mobile phone was lost in the melee.

According to reports, BJP MP Sangam Lal Gupta was invited as the chief guest at the Gareeb Kalyan Mela but he came late.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ reached the Mela venue and a few minutes later, the BJP MP also arrived, leading to tension among the Congress and BJP workers.

After a heated argument, both groups attacked each other. In a video which went viral, it can be seen that some people chased his vehicle and damaged it. The programme was also suspended following the chaos. Heavy force reached the spot and controlled the situation.

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