Thursday, September 21, 2017

New round of character assassination of top investigative woman journo "timed" with Gujarat Files' Hindi edition

By Rajiv Shah
Well-known investigative journalist Rana Ayyub, whose book "Gujarat Files", based on her sting operations of Gujarat government officials created a huge stir last year, has alleged that a new vicious round of character assassination against her has begun over the last one week, timed with the release of the Hindi edition her book.
Though it is more than a year that the book has come out, the state authorities have not challenged all that she noted in her book, nor have they sought to "authenticate" the tapes she claims are in her possession.
In her Facebook post, Ayyub says, "In the last one week, the humiliating experience of having to witness my character assassination timed around the release of the Hindi edition has begun", adding, "The misogyny, the alleged affairs that 'got me' my stories and made me write the book are back."
Ayyub's Facebook post comes close on the heels of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt alleging in his Facebook post, though without naming her, as to how her "amorous peccadilloes" with a young CBI officer were "discreetly bugged by the operatives of the state police", and how the CBI officer was "made aware of the irrefutable video evidence against him."
Sanjiv Bhatt
This led to a situation, according to Bhatt, where "the hunter suddenly became the hunted. Deals were struck. The investigation was derailed. The encounter cases were diluted to the point of no repair. Young journalist wrote a titillating and fanciful account of her journalistic exploits in Gujarat, but took exceptional care to gloss over the role of the then Chief Minister in engineering the Gujarat carnage."
Ironically, one of the stings in the book quoted a senior official as saying that Modi took the “decision” of bringing 58 dead bodies, charred to death in the S-6 Sabarmati Express coach, from Godhra to Ahmedabad on February 27, 2002, triggering the riots in which at least 1,000 people died.
Pointing out that this gave the immediate reason for the riots to spread, the bureaucrat had told Ayyub, who posed as Maithili Tyagi from the prestigious American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles for the sting: “See, bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad flared up the whole thing but he was the one who took the decision”.
Noting that the effort to character assissinate she is "neither surprised nor furious, for this is the classic, most successful trick" to "silence someone specially if the facts stated don't suit your narrative", Ayyub recalls, this is what happened in July 2013, when "Tehelka" published her "damning expose reported by me on the involvement of IB officials who were complicit with the Modi dispensation in a series of fake encounters in Gujarat."
"It was the first time that a report had named IB officials who were considered kosher. The report created a media sensation followed by a classic act by those named of discrediting my work", she says in her Facebook post, adding, "A slander campaign and a character assassination was launched by supporters of those involved with a hashtag #ranaayyubcd running on social media for two days."
She continues, "Officials in the dispensation in Gujarat and in the IB personally called up editors and journalists asking them not to pay heed to the story, also suggesting that I was using my 'friendship' in the CBI to get the information. The innuendo was not to be missed."
"Tehelka", a journal which she quit later, Ayyub says, defended her through an editorial, which said, "Her scoops on the Ishrat Jahan case began to make national headlines", one reason why she had to face "the humiliating experience of being assessed not as a professional but as a 'Muslim journalist'."
"Equally dismaying", the editorial said, was "a despicable slander campaign" unleashed against her with "shadowy whispers about a CD involving her and CBI officers that have absolutely no basis in truth. "
Adds Ayyub, when she "challenged the chauvinists and the mythmakers to present the CD so I could watch it with my family... facts outweighed the gossip machinery."

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