Home Fact-Check Political Fact-Check Divya Spandana, Prashant Bhushan share 'news' from dubious website 'IndiaScoops' to prove Rafale is a 'scam'

Divya Spandana, Prashant Bhushan share ‘news’ from dubious website ‘IndiaScoops’ to prove Rafale is a ‘scam’

After selectively ignoring facts in the Rafale deal, the politicians and journalists in India have now resorted to sharing links of a dubious website just to prove their point.

The Congress IT cell head, Divya Spandan and the lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan, the usual suspects, kept the ball rolling by furthering the lies on Twitter.

It was eventually picked up by former diplomat KC Singh, who once wanted journalists jailed for not being anti-Modi enough.

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Swati Chaturvedi, the abusive troll masquerading as a journalist, also tried to add credibility to IndiaScoops ‘news’.

Aam Aadmi Party supporter Krishan Pratap Singh also questioned why is the mainstream media not picking up the ‘scoop’ by ‘IndiaScoops’.

Well, maybe mainstream media or any media for that matter is not ‘picking up the news’ is because the website is dubious and regularly shares unverifiable news. Earlier too, the website had shared news about PM Modi’s yoga video costing Rs. 35 lakh, which was widely shared by the same set of people.

The latest ‘scoop‘ by IndiaScoops is titled “Rafale Deal: Technical HODs at Dassault Aviation claim Reliance Defence was never the first choice, the decision to drop HAL was taken by CEO Eric Trappier at the last minute”. Let us try and find out details of the story.

The article claims that ‘two top technical heads at Dassault Aviation’ gave an exclusive interview to IndiaScoops.

IndiaScoops was created on 27 April 2018

IndiaScoops as a website was created on 27 April 2018, and two top technical heads at Dassault Aviation skip everyone else and give an exclusive interview to a six-month-old website which otherwise talks about ‘leaked nude and bikini pictures’ of actors.

Popular posts on IndiaScoops

The person who created the website went for a premium account so as to mask their real identity. Very curious for a blog with about 10,000 likes on Facebook to spend so much and go to such length to hide their identity. What have they got to hide?

The earliest mention of this website that we could find is by a Twitter handle ‘India Scribes Tv’.

The first mention of IndiaScoops on Twitter

India Scribes TV is run by one Flynn Remedios, one ‘Bollywood publicist’.

IndiaScribes by Flynn Remedios

The same Flynn Remedios who appears in the ‘Popular Posts’ on IndiaScoops where one model had allegedly ‘claimed she was having an affair with Remedios but she later apologised after he sued her’.

A bit about Flynn Remedios, who seems to be running the show here. In November 2010, a model and Kannada starlet had filed a case of molestation against one Flynn Remedios. She had also accused him of cheating her of Rs. 4 lakh. In 2008, model Sherlyn Chopra had filed a case against ‘freelance journalist’ Flynn Remedios who offered to become her public relations officer, for allegedly sending her outrageous SMSes. And recently, Remedios has described as Arshi Khan’s publicist. The same Arshi Khan whose Facebook page now became IndiaScoops.com page which has ‘exclusive sources’ in the PMO. Oh, and Arshi Khan and her publicist Flynn Remedios have been accused by one Pandit Ramesh Joshi of not returning the money she borrowed as well as of sexual harassment.

Speaking of Arshi Khan, IndiaScoops’ Facebook page was Arshi Khan fan page before it started speaking to technical heads at Dassault Aviation.

IndiaScoops Facebook page

It is indeed kind of intriguing that an erstwhile Arshi Khan fan page and a Bollywood publicist had earlier got sources in the PMO and now Dassault Aviation top technical heads, speak directly to them.

But then how can a Bollywood publicist not have credible connections? We now look at the article they have published. The article claims that two ‘internal experts’ (earlier they were technical heads), spoke to IndiaScoops over the phone and ‘pointed out that there was a discussion between officials at Dassault Aviation and several emails were exchanged over a period of 7-8 days. The entire technical team wanted to work with HAL, but the decision was overruled by the top Dassault management headed by CEO Eric Trappier at the last minute.’

“We were sure we would be working with HAL and not any other Indian company. At least a 100 emails went to and fro from different departments at DA on the issue. At the last minute, we were informed that HAL was dropped and a new Indian company with whom we had never worked before and which had no expertise in manufacturing fighter aircraft was selected for the job. The entire technical team and our team heads and HODs were shocked. It was a bolt from the blue. But we had to follow instructions. At the end of the day, it’s profitability for the company that matters and if the top management decided to work with Reliance Defence, we had to toe the line. We all knew that the new company had no expertise, no experience. Internally, this issue was discussed among the technical HODs on email and several emails went to and fro. But it was CEO Eric Trappier and a couple of other officials’ at DA who took the decision to go with Reliance Defence,” the officials told IndiaScoops.com.

The two ‘internal experts’ doubling up as ‘technical heads’ at DA were ‘shocked’ when HAL was dropped and ‘a new Indian company with whom we had never worked before and which had no expertise in manufacturing fighter aircraft was selected for the job’. Umm. No one other than DA is making the jets. Reliance Defence (and HAL) are both offset partners, in different capacities, along with about 70 others, and both will manufacture some components. Perhaps the ‘experts’ need to brush up on their ‘expertise’.

The decision to drop HAL and go with Reliance Defence Ltd was that of CEO Eric Trappier and two others who mysteriously refused to listen to any advice of the departmental HODs and selected Reliance on the grounds that the deal would be scrapped, they told IndiaScoops.com in an exclusive interview.

HAL is NOT dropped. HAL is still very much part of the deal. One of the names on the offset partners is that of Snecma HAL Aerospace Ltd which is a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Snecma (Safran) of France. This joint venture will make parts for Rafale jet’s Snecma M88 engine. Therefore, the allegation that HAL has been completely left out is false. As the jets will be made in France, only some parts of that will be made in India as per offset obligation, and HAL is already a part of that.

“We were told the Indian government would have scrapped the deal if Reliance was not taken on board. Scrapping the deal would mean losses for the company and hence the top management headed by CEO Eric Trappier took the decision to work with Reliance, even though the in-house technical HODs had vetoed working with a new company having no experience and expertise – this was the official explanation given to the team. The technical HODs told the Dassault Aviation top management that handing over the contract to a new company would compromise and jeopardize the technology and equipment as well as be hazardous for the over-all image of DA as a world-class manufacturer of fighter aircraft. This has been put in writing on several emails, but the final decision by CEO Eric Trappier and two others was in favor of Reliance Defence,” they told IndiaScoops.com.

Indian and French Governments have repeatedly asserted that neither of the governments had any say in which commercial partner Dassault chooses. Despite that, IndiaScoops repeats the lie which the politicians in India have been repeating, without giving any legitimate source for the information. The two ‘technical heads’ they have ‘interviewed’ are kept anonymous to ‘protect their identity’ as they head ‘vital technical teams at DA’.

So what makes people associated with Congress and Aam Aadmi Party sharing links from a dubious website which have no credible source to back the claims?

The Congress party and its allies have been going hammer and tongs against the Modi led government alleging a scam in the purchase of Dassault Rafale jets despite several experts explaining threadbare why no scam exists. The Rafale chief, Eric Trappier himself had debunked Congress’ conspiracy theories and the Ministry of Defence too had issued statements.

Rahul Gandhi had even alleged on the floor of the house during the no-confidence motion against the Modi government that in his private meeting with the French President, Macron had disagreed with the Modi government’s claims. However, even before the parliament session got over, the French government released a statement refuting Rahul Gandhi’s claims. Later, proof surfaced showing that the Congress government had itself signed the confidentiality agreement.

Even Anil Ambani had written a letter explaining the deal to Rahul Gandhi so he would stop with the insipidity. But to no avail.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi, taking his desperation to belittle the Modi government to a whole new level, tried and encashed on the French President Francois Hollande’s statement which was later rubbished by both the French government and Dassault.

Earlier we had shown how a website by the name ‘viralinIndia’, run by Congress supporter Abhishek Mishra, was spreading pro-Islamist propaganda along with sleazy and rubbish posts like a hen giving birth to puppies. Similar seems to be the modus operandi of IndiaScoops, where anti-government propaganda and fake news could be peddled along with the sleazy content of nude pictures to get the traffic.

This again begs a bigger question: Deep inside, are these politicians and “journalists” just rumour mongering trolls?

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