Congress submits memorandum to Maharashtra home minster on Arnab leaks
NEW DELHI — Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that leaking sensitive information related to the national secret of a planned attack to a journalist is a “criminal act” and persons behind this should be put in prison.
To a question about the alleged chats discussing the Balakot air strike after the February 14, 2019 Pulwama terror strike on CRPF convoy, Rahul Gandhi said, “Leaking of any sensitive information is a criminal act. This applies to the person who sends it and the person who receives it.”
He said that such a sensitive issue was a subject of national secret regarding a planned air strike which is only either with the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister, Union Defence Minister, Indian Air Force Chief and the National Security Advisor.
“I want to know who among the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Defence Minister or NSA leaked secret information to the journalist. This is a criminal act. If the journalist had such information on his WhatsApp, I assume the Pakistanis too had it,” he said.
He also said that by leaking such information to a journalist risked the IAF fighter jets and pilots and this was not an act of “patriotism”.
He also said for leaking such a classified information, the process of putting the people in prison should start.
Meanwhile, in a memorandum submitted to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a Congress delegation led by spokespersons Sachin Sawant and Raju Waghmare said that the leakage of the purported social media chats conducted between Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami and ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta undermined national security of the ‘highest order’.
On his part, Deshmukh assured that he would take up the matter in the state Cabinet before taking a decision. Headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government comprises Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Both leaders informed Deshmukh how it was a matter of serious concern that Goswami was not only privy to information of the highest secrecy regarding national security operations of the armed forces but was also openly sharing it with Dasgupta, and it is not known as to how many other people he (Goswami) may have leaked these secrets to.
“Goswami’s actions are a clear violation of Section 5 of the OSA, 1923 which forbids a person with knowledge of classified national security operations from revealing them to unauthorised persons,” the two leaders said. — IANS