Mamata Banerjee on Thursday expressed concern over the “tamasha (farce)” of the alleged theft of Rafale files from the defence ministry, demanded a probe and lambasted the Narendra Modi government for accusing senior journalist N. Ram of publishing articles on the deal from the “stolen” documents.
The Trinamul chief said if the theft claim — made by attorney-general K.K. Venugopal in the Supreme Court on Wednesday — related to the classified papers was true, the country was in “serious danger” under the Modi government.
“We are in full support of the views expressed by the Editors Guild of India…. N. Ram is the finest of journalists. He is not a businessman. He is one of the few running a paper (The Hindu) properly….,” the Bengal chief minister said and alleged most media organisations were silenced by the BJP’s fear.
Hours after Venugopal’s court claim on Wednesday, Mamata had tweeted in support of Ram. “If any journalist wants to do his job, he is branded anti-national….and now, even threatened with prosecution. It is a journalist’s duty to access classified documents, if they are able to, and publish reports. Accusing journalists, that too of someone of N. Ram’s stature, of stealing documents is very wrong,” she said on Thursday, terming the Rafale deal a case of “monumental corruption”.
Mamata called the alleged theft “utter shame”. “If that is, indeed, the case, is it not the gravest security threat to the country? Is this not serious danger? A government that cannot keep defence papers safe…” she asked. Earlier on Thursday, she had in a Hindi tweet demanded a probe to uncover the “chhupa rustam (the culprit)” behind the alleged theft.