In a series of tweets on Thursday, senior journalist Barkha Dutt claims that her life is threatened on various levels. Dutt hints at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) involvement in the threats of surveillance and attempts to smear her personal life.
The former NDTV journalist also revealed in an exclusive interview with NC24x7 that BJP would be responsible if anything happened to her and her family. Dutt also said that her work life has been an uphill battle since she left NDTV last year since promoters are backing out at the very last minute after being pressurized to not work with her.
Since Dutt chose a public domain such as Twitter to express her agony, her tweets attracted mixed reactions from various people. Several users also asked her to file an FIR instead of expressing the ordeal on Twitter. She responded:
For those asking why not file an FIR; please know that intimidation works in multiple ways - arm twisting media owners; tapping phones; income tax harassment, social media smears, regulatory stranglehold... Ask again - why has only Republic been able to launch as a news channel?
— Barkha Dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
Alt News identified an admin of a now-defunct Facebook page Satish Mylavarapu responding to Dutt's tweets with the same tone for which his original page on Facebook and a Twitter account were suspended.
Just plain threats??? What kind of morons are there in establishment?? They should have gone into action mode of disappearing you... No one needs you in this country... we are fed up of your lies and narratives
— Satish Anna (@SatishAnna2) June 7, 2018
भारतीय #वामपंथी पत्रकार हर उस झूठ-सच पर कर्कश शोर मचाते है जिससे #हिन्दू बदनाम हो सकें, न उन्हें तथ्यों से मतलब है,न ही देश-हित से। #विदेशी ताकतें उनकी इस प्रवृत्ति को पहचानकर अपने हित में जमकर इस्तेमाल करती है।@SudhirParweMLA @UmakantSingh94 @Dr_Uditraj @Swamy39 @rajeev_mp pic.twitter.com/QW5M7WYoRZ— Satish Anna (@SatishAnna2) June 7, 2018
Mylavarapu has been notoriously popular for his abusive and threatening posts on social media. His Twitter accounts were suspended not once, but twice, for his continued attempt to ignite violence against inter-faith couples. But every time an account is suspended, Mylavarapu creates a new account, and this time he has targeted Dutt with his new handle @SatishAnna2.
Take a look at Dutt's tweets that express her sufferings and constant jabs at the government as well as the BJP.
Over the last few months those associated with the ruling party have warned me - politely, impolitely - not to work on new TV projects and told me - "we will never allow them to happen"- today I was told a 45 minute meeting held on how to stop me, smear me, malign me, tap me.— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
Those who conveyed the message to me today- said a big meeting was held on how to stop me and my projects. I was told tools will include- tapping my phone, income tax cases, smear, surveillance. was advised debugging and personal security and to not proceed with my new work. https://t.co/P0ZUeYKiva— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
All this while I though Indian Democracy would keep me safe & keep my rights as a private citizen intact. Today it is conveyed to me that sections of the Establishment have decided to use any tool available to stop me from working. I am placing this in the public domain .— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
I never thought the day would come when in my own country, I would be told to hire private security & get my house debugged. I suppose i should be ready for phone taps, IT cases, ED raids, death threats - the meeting held by those who wield power have said- Stop her work projects— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
I hope @Ra_THORe as I& B Minister takes notes of chilling threats conveyed to me on the plans within on how to stop me from working in TV news. And if the government is tapping my phones and bugging my house- it is grossly illegal and a violation of my privacy. Thank you.— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018
Received chilling veiled threats and "messages" from powerful people in the Establishment today that my family and I are under surveillance - and that I will be smeared & maligned to stop me from starting any new projects. Was advised to get my house debugged. Is this my country?— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) June 7, 2018