The Caravan’s Political Editor Hartosh Singh Bal has criticized a recent NDTV report authored by its Security & Strategic Affairs Editor Sudhi Ranjan Sen. Citing unnamed government sources, the report claimed that Pakistan had shelled as much as Rs 24 crore to fuel the unrest in Kashmir.
“The official among those handling Kashmir affairs at the centre, alleged that much of the money from across the border has been routed to mid and senior-level functionaries of pro-Pakistan separatist groups operating in Kashmir like the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Dukhtranan-e-Millat, headed by Asiya Andrabi,” wrote NDTV.
In a series of tweets, Bal termed the story as “silly” and “stupid”. He also sought to know whether no NDTV editor had the sense to ask proper questions before buying into an unverified plant.
When contacted by exchange4media, an angry Bal criticised NDTV’s story. “What kind of story is this? Has NDTV tried to independently verify the claims,” he said. He stated that if the government had information regarding the flow of money from Pakistan towards certain individuals in Kashmir then it should make their names and account numbers public.
Bal questioned,“Why the government hasn’t stopped” the flow of money if it indeed was the case. He also suggested that if Pakistan can pump in Rs 24 crore and win over the loyalty of some people then what is preventing the Indian government from paying more to get people on its side. “This is not journalism. It is doing something that simply suits the government’s agenda,” he claimed.