NEW DELHI: Leaking sensitive military details is treason and those involved in such “anti-national activities” must be punished, former defence minister AK Antony said as he demanded the PM to come clean in the row involving senior journalist Arnab Goswami.
Antony was joined by party colleagues Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sushilkumar Shinde and Salman Khurshid at a press conference on Wednesday, with the Congress cranking up the pressure on the Centre in the controversy over Goswami’s purported WhatsApp chats.
On Tuesday, ex-Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had asserted that the leak of sensitive information was a “criminal act”.
At the press briefing, Antony said those involved in such acts deserve no mercy and an inquiry into the information leak about the Balakot air strikes must be ordered immediately.
“Leaking of official secret is a criminal act. Leaking official secret about military operation, national security matters, sensitive military operations especially military strike is treason, anti-national. They have to be punished for anti-national activities, for treason. They deserve no mercy.”
India’s security has never been compromised in such a way and never have the high offices of the prime minister, home minister and others been brazenly compromised, Antony claimed.
Recalling his long stint as defence minister, he asserted, only one of the top five in the government are suspect in this case.
Later, a joint statement by the Congress leaders questioned whether the government had any right left to continue in office after such “damning revelations”.
“We demand that the prime minister should come clean on these accusations immediately in order to restore the severely damaged credibility of the highest office of the country,” they said in the statement.