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Goswami knew about Balakot 3 days before it happened, police probe in ratings scam suggests

In this photograph taken on April 26, 2017, Indian television journalist Arnab Goswami poses during an interview with AFP in Mumbai. Arnab Goswami, India's most brash and controversial TV news anchor, renowned for his hectoring style on air, is about to launch a new channel and he's unapologetic about what viewers should expect. "I'm patriotic and nationalistic and so will the channel be," the 43-year-old tells AFP, in a mellow tone drastically different from his manner on-screen where he regularly shouts at guests. / AFP PHOTO / Sujit JAISWAL / To go with India-media-television-Goswami,INTERVIEW by Peter Hutchison

According to TheWire, these purported conversations, which cover topics from the Pulwama attack to Kashmir’s annexation, are just a part of the mammoth transcript which shows Goswami was aware of the the Indian government’s plans well in advance.

Soon after the Pulwama attack on Feb 14, 2019, in which 40 soldiers were killed, Goswami allegedly wrote to Dasgupta acknowledging how the attack had helped his channel. “This attack we have won like crazy,” he allegedly wrote the same evening at 5:43pm, according to excerpts published by TheWire.

Some of these conversations also reveal that the ratings agency boss, Dasgupta, wanted to use Goswami’s connections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office to get a position as the PM’s adviser.

“If you can please get me a media adviser kind of position with [the] prime minister office,” said Dasgupta in one of the purported WhatsApp messages published by Indian media.

Dasgupta was arrested last month and is currently under police remand. He was charged with “misuse of his official position to manipulate ratings of specific news channels broadcast by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd such as Republic Bharat Hindi and Republic TV English”.

Police also arrested Vikas Khanchandani, the chief executive officer of Republic TV, last month on charges of rigging the ratings system. He was later released on bail.

But these latest reports are particularly damning for Goswami, who is known for aggressively backing up Modi and his Hindu nationalist policies during his nightly shows, often shouting down opponents.

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