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April 12, 2020

Stooping to a new low Indian channel blames ‘Pakistan planning bio terror attack’

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April 12, 2020

KARACHI: A part of the Indian electronic media has once again unleashed a vitriolic and imaginary attack on Pakistan by claiming that its western neighbor plans to infect the country by sending COVID-19 infected individuals across from Nepal.

Broadcasting the news, the Indian news channel Times Now said that the one of India's Central Armed Police Forces, Sashastra Seema Bal, (SSB) has informed the SP and DM of Bihar’s district West that 200 Indian Muslims led by 5-6 Pakistanis have arrived in Nepal’s bordering villages with India for infiltration. SSB previously called the Special Service bureau works under Home Ministry to check cross-border crime and smuggling as well as other anti-national activities in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Discussing the SSB report, the fiercely anti-Pakistan anchor of the channel, Rahul Shivshankar, cites a person by name of some Mian who is a member of Jagnthpur municipality entrusted with leading group of 40-50 covid-19 infected individuals comprising 8-10 Pakistanis to spread the “bioterror plot”. According to report Nepal has arrested some Pakistanis hiding in mosques. Accusing Pakistan of undermining India’s management of the viral pandemic, the channel said the Indian government is very alarmed over the reports. The Times Now has another fire breathing anti-Pakistan host Arnab Ranjan Goswami.

It is very shocking, but not surprising, how Indian news channels stoop so low, sacrificing their editorial independence to keep the New Delhi government’s agenda afloat even it means to betray sister publications of the same group. The Times Group India owns both channel Times Now and the newspaper Times of India. On its digital page, the Times of India on April 11, had questioned the information, terming it an unverified intelligence input by the SSB. According to the digital format story, a letter by the DIG of the SSB had informed the district’s officials that the Covid-19 infected infiltrators would attempt cross over on April 3. The Dist Magistrate advised alert to the SP. When the Indian newspaper, spoke to the SSB DIG Rajesh Tikkoo, “he flatly denied there was any letter.” The TOI reporter also asked the DIG about the “incredible information citing location of the supposed Covid-19 launchpads (Chandan Bara and Khairwa villages) inside Nepal,” whereas they actually are very well located inside in Bihar’s Chandan Bara which is in Dhaka block while Khairwa is in Chaura Daano block in East Champaran, DIG Tikoo slammed down the phone.

Close to the Nepal border, they are home to madrassas that are closed since March 14. The digital page of same news channel on its had described the story “as an unverified intelligence input by the SSB.”