Tehelka condemns the vilification of its journalist, Asad Ashraf, by Times Now Anchor Arnab Goswami on his Newshour show, during a debate on Batla House encounter on 23 May.
Tehelka as an organization stands firmly by the side of Asad Ashraf who was merely pin pointing at the loopholes in police version of Batla house encounter, without giving clean chit to any of the alleged ‘terrorists’ killed in that encounter. As a journalist, Asad has all the rights to investigate into matters and question official version and narrative propounded by the state machinery.
Journalism at Tehelka has always been free and fair and Ashraf is known in the organization for carrying forward the legacy of Tehelka. The entire staff of Tehelka supports Asad Ashraf for the acidic comments and the harassment he has had to face from Arnab Goswami.
Abdul Wasey, the associate editor of the magazine said, “This is sad. How rude it is on part of the ‘so-called leading journalist’ Arnab Goswami to call Asad and people like him ‘cover for Indian Mujahideen’. I know Asad for quite sometime. He is a very impartial and professional journalist. He bases his reports on facts. Arnab must apologise for his irresponsible remark and start behaving in future. He also needs to improve his tone, especially when he is on air. Is this the way the self-appointed voice of India should address his guest? Shame!”
VVN Murthi, News Editor (Online) said, It was like a bolt out of the blue. That too from an experienced journalist to a young puppy in the field and, importantly, one who belongs to the minority community. Asad Ashraf had also taken part in the Newshour discussion on Batla House encounter. Everything was normal until suddenly, Arnab Goswami, Managing Director, Times Now in his typical style shouted, “You people act as a cover to Indian Mujahideen”. This time he stepped out of the line. One may also wonder whether he called all members of minority community that! All his faults on one side, this comment from such a senior journalist is simply pitiable.
Photo Editor Vijay Pandey said, “I am shocked. Such comments from a senior journalist in the field does not behoove him. I know Asad Ashraf from many years and he is a simple chap. He immerses himself with stories and eats everyone’s brain in the office with story ideas. Calling such a man ‘a cover for India Mujahideen’ is truly unfortunate. What has journalism come to?”