‘I was branded because I bear a Muslim name’

ByNL Team
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Times Now Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has made news yet again for calling Asad Ashraf, a Tehelka journalist, a cover for Indian Mujahideen on the The Newshour on May 23.

Ashraf, 28, was one of the six panelists on Goswami’s show debating the ISIS video featuring Muhammad ‘Bada’ Sajid — one of the Indian Mujahideens behind the bombings of 2008 that killed more than 160 people in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur. Delhi Special Cell had earlier claimed that Bada Sajid had escaped during the Batla House encounter. Ashraf, an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia, had questioned the credibility of Batala House through his stories in Tehelka. He also questioned the authenticity of the ISIS video aired by Times Now. Goswami, responded to this not very surprisingly: “You guys were a cover for Indian Mujahideens,” he said.

Goswami also called the journalist a “pseudo-intellectual” and “pseudo-secular. He added that, “You don’t know how dangerous the game is that you are playing in the name of pseudo-secularism.”

Newslaundry spoke to Ashraf on the incident. Here’s what he had to say: “It was absolutely ridiculous on his [Goswami’s] part to call me an IM sympathiser just because of the fact that I questioned the authenticity of the Batla House encounter and the IS video.” He further added that the IS video should have gone for a forensic test before being aired on the channel. “It was easier for Arnab to target me because of the fact because I bear a Muslim name,” he said.

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