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Italian journalist accuses journalist Ajai Shukla of being sexist, calls journalist Karan Thapar a liar

While Thapar lied to her, Ajai Shukla cast aspersions that Francesca had ulterior motives of releasing this article in the middle of Indian elections

Italian journalist Francesca Marino has accused journalist Ajai Shukla of being sexist person ‘who reached the bottom attacking her on sexist and insulting bases’. She has also accused journalist Karan Thapar of being a liar.

In a report published on Stringerasia, journalist Francesca Marino has claimed that the number of terrorists died in the strike was in the range of 130-170, which includes those who have died during treatment later. The report further revealed that 45 injured terrorists are still under treatment by Pakistani Army Doctors, while 20 terrorists have already died during treatment. It also suggests that terrorists who have recovered are still under the custody of the Pakistani Army.

Expectedly, her report has created a stir in the Lutyens lobby which would rather believe Pakistani authorities over Indian government. Business Standard Strategic Affairs Editor who was most concerned if Modi might ‘benefit’ from the Pulwama terror strike than the lost lives of CRPF jawans, took to Twitter to trash her report.

He cast aspersions that Francesca had ulterior motives of releasing this article in the middle of Indian elections. He then asked her what is her story based on, ‘other than sources’. (This, when Shukla’s own track record of reportage has not been quite credible) and asked her if she has visited Balakot. He was also quite concerned about the timing of the report since it coincides with the ongoing elections.

Francesca then explained that she has well-placed sources in Pakistan and that this was her fourth article on the Balakot strikes. She further asked him Shukla himself has done stories based on sources and so have journalists across the globe. Then what could be Shukla’s problem with the article? She reminded him that unlike himself, she has no voting right in India and has nothing to gain.

He then went on to make quite an unsavoury remark on her.

He said that her Twitter handle ‘francescam63’ itself has ‘FRANCE SCAM’ in it and brought in Rafale. Shukla perhaps forgot that Italy and France are different countries and Francesca is Italian.

Meanwhile, Thapar, for his Congress leader Kapil Sibal backed channel, ‘HTN Tiranga’ decided to debate over how many terrorists were killed.

In the opening remark, Thapar says that while he had asked Francesca for an exclusive interview to discuss her article and while she was there ready to start with HTN, she ‘suddenly’ changed her mind. Thapar says that she was promised an exclusive interview, which she was given. However, he alleges that Francesca backed off after she got a ‘whiff’ that other people may join in the discussion ‘after’ her exclusive interview was done.

A visibly livid Francesca took to Twitter to point out how Thapar lied blatantly to her.

Karan Thapar himself is not known for his exemplary journalism and ethics. Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri had recently revealed that he didn’t want Pallavi Joshi in a TV serial because ‘she is dark’. Karan Thapar has been accused of publishing concocted conversations as truth in his book ‘The Devil’s Advocate’. He has also insinuated that in the past that India is not a civilized nation. And most recently, he was also found appealing to the people to join a Congress party platform.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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