Shweta Kothari, a senior correspondent with the Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV, has resigned on Friday after her editor accused her of being a spy of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the journalist announced her resignation and described the series of events which led to it. Shweta Kothari claims she was witch-hunted by the editor as she was followed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Twitter. Shweta also said that her editor arrived at the bizarre conclusion that because she had signed a petition on Change.org, pertaining to Shashi Tharoor, she was his spy.
The social media post says that the Reporting Manager kept track of Shweta's social media profiles in order to brand her a spy of Tharoor. They questioned her colleagues and enquired about her financial status, insinuating that she had been rewarded for her alleged spying.
"The humiliation continued for a few more days. My financial status was inquired (proposing that I may have been getting paid by Mr Tharoor); my colleagues were questioned on whether I try to extract information (from them)." Shweta Kothari said in her Facebook post.
Shashi Tharoor himself, meanwhile, put out a tweet in response to the allegations against the reporter.
The journalist said she had complained about the harassment to the channel's managing director Arnab Goswami but was met with a cold response. A second complaint made before the channel was also left unheard.
In the Facebook post, Shweta also said that the editor had once accused her of flirting with a police officer after she had conducted a sting operation involving the officer. "When I protested, she threatened to make the conversation public and destroy my career".
The reporter said that finally she was unreasonably dropped from the channel's special projects team. When she tried to question the rationale behind it, her reporting manager responded: "It is beneath my dignity to talk to you".
Shweta Kothari says she is not the sole victim of the channel's harassment.
"The culture of fear, intimidation and harassment I have seen in the last few months is unparalleled. My only concern, it goes unquestioned" says Shweta.