Police say arrest of Nazi official in Goa could be media hoax
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Reports on the arrest of an alleged Nazi war criminal on the Karnataka-Goa border on Friday could be a media hoax, one that even took local intelligence officials for a ride.
A prominent Goan blog, that has in the past highlighted shortcomings of the Indian media, on Monday put up a post saying it was set to reveal 'Nazi-Gate: How the media turns a legendary German composer into a Jew-slaying Nazi varmint'.
The blog has put out a teaser stating 'the truth behind Perus Narkp' would unveil one of the most telling stories about the media in India, especially in Goa.
Reports had emerged from Hubli and Belgaum in Karnataka and from Goa over the weekend that quoted an e-mail press release from a unit called Perus Narkp announcing the arrest of an 88-year-old man, Johann Bach, who was a former colonel in the Nazi Waffen SS and was hiding in Goa.
Perus Narkp was identified as the intelligence wing of the Berlin-based German Chancellor's Corp and Johann Bach — a namesake of the famous composer — was even identified as a brilliant pianist himself.
After reports of the arrest emerged first in Goa and at Hubli and Belgaum, field officers of the Karnataka state intelligence sent a report to the intelligence headquarters in Bangalore conveying media reports of the arrest of a Nazi war criminal.
Karnataka Additional Director General of Police (intelligence bureau) Shankar Bidari when contacted said his office had received an oral field report about the arrest but added that state intelligence and police officials were not involved.
The Karnataka intelligence official also said the arrested Nazi war criminal had been deported to Berlin. Israeli groups hunting for war criminals around the world had traced Bach, he added.
"However, it was an oral report that we received. The case did not happen within Karnataka's jurisdiction, so we did not follow it. Lots of things happen on the Internet and we cannot authenticate everything," Bidari said.
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