It took over 80 hours of military operations to neutralise all the terrorists during the deadly attack on the Pathankot air force base which left seven Indian soldiers dead and over 22 injured. Former army men and defence experts have severely criticised the government on how they handled the situation. The online defenders of this government however are attacking the media for how things have panned out.
Amidst the blame game, #ShutDownNDTV started trending on Twitter on Tuesday. After trending for hours on Twitter, the trend made its way to the top of Facebook trends on Wednesday afternoon.
The trend reportedly stemmed after a some tweets were made by Col NR Kurup, a retired Colonel of the Indian Army, equating the news channel's coverage of the operations with "assisting terrorist".
Meanwhile, a letter written by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to the Cabinet Secretary last year next surfaced on social media. In the letter, Doval stated how the media (and specifically mentioned NDTV) leaked classified information and sought action against them. This only seemed to have worked as a provocation for those defending Doval and the government.
Senior Business Standard defence journalist Ajai Shukla's scathing article on Doval's "inept handling" of the "counter-terrorist operation into something that increasingly seems like a debacle" was also dragged into the controversy later, since Shukla was once a journalist with NDTV.
While many agreed with the #ShutDownNDTV campaign, some were quick to point out if BJP leaders would stop speaking to the channel or going to their studios for interviews.