After a month-long slumber, Indian media is now widely reporting the Income Tax raid details of controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. NDTV Editor Barkha Dutt and Outlook Magazine were duking it out on Twitter about who broke first Robert Vadra’s link with the arms dealer. Outlook also did a monkey balancing act by reporting on BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh’s acquaintance with Bhandari.
All the TV channels and newspaper reporters are having the Call Detail Records (CDR) of Sanjay Bhandari. All Editors knew the third number in the CDR who contacted 478 times with Bhandari in the past three months. The CDR was widely circulated to journalists by the investigators and these kind of leaks are not un-common.
The third mobile number in the CDR is 98101 35562 and this number is familiar to all Editors in Delhi as it is the cell number of their colleague Shishir Gupta. Shishir Gupta is currently the Executive Editor of Hindustan Times.
Shishir Gupta is considered to be close to P Chidambaram and Arun Jaitley. Both had, a few years ago, jointly released his book called Indian Mujahideen. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry recently appointed Shishir Gupta as Member of Executive Council of the prestigious government run journalism institute called IIMC – Indian Institute of Mass Communication! To say that it raises eyebrows is an understatement – this Executive Council decides academics and administration and one fears for the future of journalism.
Here comes an ethical question to Indian media and its high and mighty editors. Why are you not publishing Shishir’s name, even after publishing Vadra, Siddarth Nath Singh and Sheila Dikshit? The email trails (helpfully provided by the investigators) shows Bhandari’s London property purchase and re-selling details connecting Vadra. It also shows Bhandari’s frequent visits to former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s home. The media cites the CDR about Siddarth Nath Singh’s links and frequent calls with Bhandari but looks the other way when one of their own is involved!
Shishir Gupta made 478 calls in just three months to Bhandari. That media did not consider the call volume significant is baffling!
As India’s Mainstream Media (MSM) is avoiding to out one of their own, we decided to show the truth by publishing the CDR which shows around 40 frequent callers to Bhandari. All the names that connect to the numbers can be got from True Caller. Even though the True Caller id says the number belongs to one Shishit Gupta, the email id correctly says email@example.com. Why MSM is silent on the existence of one of their own is a million dollar question.
A few weeks ago these CDR details and the name of Shishir Gupta cropped up in Twitter. The noted internet warrior Gaurav Pradhan (@DrGPradhan) had posted this CDR and Shishir Gupta had responded by deleting his Twitter account. Don’t be surprised if Shishir deletes his Gmail account as well.