‘India should stop claiming a democracy with a free press’, Shashi Tharoor on Satya Pal’s revelations

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 Indian member of parliament and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor expressing his dismay over the near blackout by the Indian media of the startling allegations made by former governor of occupied Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik, said, “The media should press the government of India for an honest admission of failure and corrective action”.

In a recent interview to the web portal, The Wire, he said that there was no “national security interests in suppressing the story” and that such a blackout only serves the interests of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Malik said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval asked him to remain silent when as the IIOJK governor he pointed out significant failures on the part of the government agencies to prevent the deadly Pulwama attack in which 40 soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in 2019.

Responding to the “under-reporting” of such serious allegations in the media, Tharoor summarised point-wise what he called Malik’s “revelations”.

“1. CRPF asked for aircraft to fly their personnel; this was refused by the Home Ministry.

2. The chosen route was not sanitised. 8-10 link roads that could be used by a potential terrorist to attack the convoy were not manned by security personnel.

3. A car w/300kg of RDX from Pakistan entered J&K & roamed around unimpeded for ten days.

Incompetence or carelessness?

4. Gov Malik told PM & NSA of the intelligence and security failures and was instructed not to speak about them publicly.

5. On Article 370 abrogation, the Governor was informed at the last minute even though constitutionally he had to grant the consent of IIOJK administration for the change. Malik felt the downgrading of J&K from a state to a Union Territory was an unnecessary humiliation which hurt Kashmiri pride.”

Tharoor said that all such allegations were “matters of national security which ought to be of concern to the nation” and asked “how could any serious media ignore such major news”.

Tharoor said that when Malik blamed government authorities for the “national tragedy” while still in the gubernatorial office, the failure to report it shows the media’s “wilful abdication of duty” and “evidence of de facto censorship, unsupported by law”.

“We should stop claiming we are a democracy with a free press if govt can muzzle media in this way,” he tweeted.

“The 40 jawans won’t come back to us but they & our nation deserve the truth,” he said.

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Disclaimer: ‘India should stop claiming a democracy with a free press’, Shashi Tharoor on Satya Pal’s revelations - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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