[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]hile Indian Express newspaper is a leader in investigative journalism by releasing several tapes, it is interesting to note that one of the Intelligence agencies snooped into the Indian Express office itself. The snooping was conducted in the then Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta’s room at old Indian Express building in Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi sometime in first week of April 2014 or the last week of March 2014. This is one such conversation.
We believe the voices in this conversation are those of Shekhar Gupta, his colleagues Ritu Sarin, Maneesh Chhibber and Muzamil Jaleel. This was given to us by a much respected, recently retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, who is considered as one of India’s best snooping and covert operations expert, on June 17, 2016. While most of the conversations are based on news planning, advertisement canvassing and journalism gossip, one conversation seemed very interesting.
In this conversation, Shekhar Gupta informs his colleagues that BJP leader Arun Jaitley was financing Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate in Darbhanga Parliament constituency to spoil the chances of his party colleague and archrival cricketer Kirti Azad. According to Shekhar Gupta, the deal was struck and money was routed to RJD candidate M A Ashraf Fatmi through Congress leader and Cricket administrator Rajeev Shukla. Gupta and one colleague detail how Jaitley and Fatmi struck a deal through Shukla on financing elections. This conversation tells us how rivalry in cricket administration leads to tussle among party colleagues in BJP. Remember, this is just a conversation. Whether this really happened, we do not know.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]hough one colleague journalist Maneesh Chhibber talks about publishing this curious political move, Shekhar shows no interest. The last date of filing nomination in Darbhanga Constituency was on April 10, 2014. So this conversation might have been recorded by Intelligence agencies prior to that.
According to the retired IPS officer who gave us the snooped tapes of Indian Express office conversation, the recording was not done by tapping the telephone. It was done through a friendly journalist working in Indian Express itself! The mole of the Intelligence agencies was a journalist and the person used to record the office conversation on a mobile phone and regularly feed it to the Intelligence agencies!
The officer also told us that every newspaper’s list of stories for the next day is regularly accessed by Intelligence agencies as well as by the Dirty Tricks Department of Corporates through mole or friendly journalists. According to this officer, similar kind of snooping happens in TV channel offices also.
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