Hours after Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi demanded a formal police investigation into the AG’s claim in the Supreme Court about “stolen documents” in the Rafale deal on Wednesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she condemned the “threats by the BJP” to N. Ram, Chairman of The Hindu publishing group.
“Media plays an important role in democracy. I strongly condemn threats by BJP govt [government] to one of India’s most senior & respected editors, N Ram. Invoking Official Secrets Act to threaten journalists is a shame.”
“They cannot curb freedom & rights of the press as per their convenience,” Ms Banerjee tweeted.
Ms. Banerjee was reacting to Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal’s submission in the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the “secret” documents published by The Hindu on the purchase of 36 Rafale jets were “stolen” from the Ministry of Defence, probably by former employees.
The AG further said the government is thinking of taking “criminal action” under the Official Secrets Act. He submitted that the publication of secret defence documents had put national security at risk and affected relations with friendly foreign powers.