Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is wrong in police posing as journalists to catch anti-nationals?

Two police officers posing as journalists from Singapore captured Maoist terrorist leader Chatradhar Mahato. (Photo:Telegraph Calcutta)

Seems almost like a plot from spy movie.

From Times of India:

"Mahato was not arrested outright. The television crew' interviewed him till 2 pm and then took him aside for a phone-in'. Once isolated, he was pushed into a vehicle at gunpoint. Before PCPA members could react, the vehicles had pulled away from the area. "
Not surprisingly when whole W.Bengal police force was looking for this terrorist, local journalists had free access to him, just like how our own Gowri Lankesh and other "journalists" have access to Naxals of Western Ghats. And police exploited that connection to arrest the terrorist fooling even local journalists who ran for their life and are now shivering with fear.

Predictably, some media organisations are seeing red (no pun)

The Press Club of Calcutta has “condemned” the police’s disguise as journalists, saying it had "lowered the dignity of the profession”. Of course, rubbing shoulders with terrorists brings "dignity to profession"?

W.Bengal PWD minister raises a good question - “The end justifies the means. The police always try to zero in on culprits under disguise. What if the godmen and beggars now complain the police undermine their professional credibility and security by posing as one of them?” asked Kshiti Goswami, the RSP leader and PWD minister.

Good question. When Tehelka fooled politicians claiming to be weapon dalals, I don't remember anyone saying Tehelka journalists "lowered the dignity of arms brokers"? Rather same media hailed that sting operation as some kind of watershed event in Indian journalism? What is wrong now if police use same tactics and pose as journalists to catch anti-national elements?

Some other retired irrelevant busy bees in media like Nihal Singh and Inder Malhotra and "International Federation of Journalists" (whose fake membership card one can purchase for less than 200 Rupees) claim this operation has " “diminished the role and profession of journalists.”. Really Mr.Malhotra? Isn't this the same Malhotra who worshipped Indira Gandhi when she shut down or blacked out newspapers during Emergency? And even now justifies Indira Gandhi's action during Emergency "because of her struggles in Indian politics as a woman"?

Closer home it is open secret that some journalists and professors in Shimoga, Kuvempu University, Udupi and Mangalore are in regular touch with Naxals of Western Ghats. Gowri Lankesh - a "journalist" just because her dad was "journalist"- had interviewed Naxals in Western Ghats for her rag and when a naxal was killed in encounter had demanded that govt release body to her so that she can construct a memorial. (she ended up losing Editor post for that blunder)

If a journalist can wear many roles for their "sting operations", what is wrong in police claiming to be journalist to catch anti-national elements? When journalists openly boast of their connections to these terrorists and use that to sell their stories or get ratings (or sell themselves as seen in W.Bengal where two local journalists sold themselves to someone claiming to be from Singapore media house), what is wrong if police pose as journalists to do their job?


  1. Good one...bala chennagide marre.
    heege varokkomme blog barita iri.

  2. Three cheers to the policemen who did it!