Mumbai(June 08, 2018): Veteran journalist Barkha Dutt has alleged that the powerful people of the current establishment are spooking her plans to launch a news channel.
Without giving details about her TV project, Dutt said that her backers are being hounded by the establishment for the last few months to dissuade them from associating with her.
In a series of Tweets, Dutt also revealed that she has been told in no uncertain terms by individuals close to the establishment to drop the TV channel plan or face the consequences.“Over the last few months those associated with the ruling party have warned me – politely, impolitely – not to work on new TV projects and told me – “we will never allow them to happen”- today I was told a 45 minute meeting held on how to stop me, smear me, malign me, tap me,” Dutt posted on her Twitter.
She also said that a meeting was held to find ways of stalling her project from moving ahead. “Those who conveyed the message to me today- said a big meeting was held on how to stop me and my projects. I was told tools will include- tapping my phone, income tax cases, smear, surveillance. was advised debugging and personal security and to not proceed with my new work,” she noted.
Dutt also said that her she and her family are under surveillance. “Received chilling veiled threats and “messages” from powerful people in the Establishment today that my family and I are under surveillance – and that I will be smeared & maligned to stop me from starting any new projects. Was advised to get my house debugged. Is this my country?” she said.
Received chilling veiled threats and “messages” from powerful people in the Establishment today that my family and I are under surveillance – and that I will be smeared & maligned to stop me from starting any new projects. Was advised to get my house debugged. Is this my country?
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
She also mentioned that the establishment will go to any extent to get her project stalled. Naming Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV, she alleged that only pro-government channels are being given go-ahead by the government.
“For the last year and half any coincidence that the only files for news channels that moved were on Republic. And we know their affiliation, don’t we? Controlling the airwaves and allowing only those to operate who are on your side is a form of intimidation of media,” she alleged.
She also urged Information & Broadcasting (I&B) minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to take note of the threats received by her.
“I hope @Ra_THORe as I& B Minister takes notes of chilling threats conveyed to me on the plans within on how to stop me from working in TV news. And if the government is tapping my phones and bugging my house- it is grossly illegal and a violation of my privacy. Thank you,” Dutt stated.