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Republic Journo Resigns After Allegations of Being a Congress Mole

According to Shweta Kothari, her reporting manager told her that Arnab Goswami suspected her of being a mole.

Updated
India
4 min read
SP Udayakumaran, in a Facebook post, has questioned the credentials of the Republic TV journalist who resigned recently.
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A Republic TV journalist resigned from her position on Wednesday, 11 October, after alleging that her seniors at the news channel, helmed by Arnab Goswami, had accused her of being a mole planted by the Congress.

Journalist Shweta Kothari took to social media to narrate the incident, after her reporting manager allegedly told her that Arnab Goswami suspects her of being a mole planted by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor because Tharoor follows her on Twitter.

Following this incident in August, Kothari said she was further told that she had filed a petition that pertained to Tharoor, leading to further suspicion.

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Kothari alleged that she was dropped out of the special projects team on 9 October, following months of alleged harassment – asking her about her financial status on the suspicion that she might be paid by Tharoor, enquiring with her colleagues if she tried to get any information out of them, to even questioning her Twitter cover photo.

The scribe claimed that this was the second time she had faced such harassment at work, the first time being in May when her reporting manager accused her of flirting with a police personnel.

In her Facebook post, Kothari alleged: "I am not the first person to have faced this scrutiny of character; before me there were other colleagues who have faced worst. I am confident, I am not the last. Question is – how long before the organisation pulls the plug?”

You can read Kothari’s full resignation note here.

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Kothari said that she even confronted Goswami several times regarding the issue, but was never given a concrete response.

Tharoor had responded to Kothari’s post saying he doesn’t employ spies, but ‘respects serious journalists.’

SP Udayakumaran Lashes Out at Scribe

After Kothari’s post went viral, anti-nuclear activist SP Udayakumar – known for leading the protest against Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam Nuclear Plant – took to Facebook on 13 October to allege that the journalist had “illegally, immorally and indelicately” done a story on him.

He alleged that Kothari, in her capacity as Republic TV correspondent, had introduced herself to him as a "research student".

In his post, he said:

When your criminal boss called you a mole, the proposition was “ridiculous,” and even a “witch-hunt” for you. But when you accused thousands and thousands of hardworking and well-meaning ordinary citizens of India of being stooges of the Catholic Church, greedy for foreign money and all that abhorrent nonsense without a shred of any evidence, you thought it was high class journalism, right?
SP Udayakumaran
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He alleged that Shweta could be “a spy, a mole, or an infiltrator” as her bosses alleged and was not a “good journalist”.

Read SP Udayakumaran’s full post here.

Udayakumaran is on a Malicious Campaign: Kothari

Responding to the allegations leveled against her by the activist, the journalist told The Quint that it was a “shame that a man who was caught taking a money offer on camera is trying to milk the situation in his favour”. She said that she would continue to stand by the story she did for her former employer.

She said Udayakumaran wrote the post as he has been “rattled” since the story was first aired.

When Kumar goes on to say that “one will not only flirt or fornicate, s/he would even murder” for a sting operation, it only reflects his downright misogynistic views and petty mindset. There is a defamation case that he has filed in the court of law, let the court decide. Unlike Mr Kumar, I will not call him names or use profanity. While I have no personal enmity against Mr Kumar, he surely is on a malicious campaign.
Shweta Kothari 

She alleged that if Udayakumaran was indeed a “honest person as he claims to be” their story would have fallen flat.

The Quint has reached out to Arnab Goswami and the story will be updated with his response.

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Udayakumaran Challenges Kothari to Prove Her Allegations

Udayakumaran responded to the allegations levelled by Kothari, in another Facebook post on 17 October.

You (Shweta Kothari) have said that I have written my earlier post as I have been ‘rattled’ since the story was first aired. You are absolutely right, I was indeed “rattled” after your so-called “expose” because never had I had anyone in my life who would enter my home as a friend, get introduced to my family members as a scholar, enjoy my family’s hospitality, and betray us all so mercilessly and cruelly.
Udayakumaran

He also asked that The Quint clarify Kothari’s quote.

Here is the full Facebook post:

He said on 18 October that he was "processing a defamation case against her (Kothari)" in an emailed response.

(Editor’s Note: This story was updated on 18 October 2017. Shweta Kothari requested that her allegation regarding Udayakumaran be corrected from "...taking money on camera..." to "...taking a cash offer on camera". Changes have also been made in the section on Udayakumaran's response.)

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