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Over 16 requests for FIRs have been lodged against Arnab Goswami for “inciting communal hatred”, and in some cases for defaming Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
Over 16 requests for FIRs have been lodged against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for “inciting communal hatred” and for defaming Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.
Arnab Goswami's Complaint
Goswami has also lodged an FIR against the two men on motorcycles who allegedly attacked his car on April 22 in Mumbai. However, Goswami has stated that the NM Joshi Marg police station had delayed the registration of the FIR. Further, the police did not name the attackers to be “Youth Congress workers”, as alleged by Goswami.
The complaint by Goswami mentions that the attackers abused and shouted at him and his wife in Hindi and also threw some liquid on their car.
Further Arnab Goswami stated that in the wee hours on Thursday morning at around 03:30 am he was informed by the police that the attack by Youth Congress workers was not known and that due investigation was needed.
Goswami has clearly stated hat he suspects the attack to be "orchestrated by Sonia Gandhi and the Congress leadership and that he and his wife would not cow down by "this cowardly attack which cannot have happened without the go ahead by Sonia Gandhi."
On April 23, the Mumbai police arrested two members of the Mumbai chapter of the Indian Youth Congress for the attack on Goswami.
The accused have been identified as Prateek Mishra and Arun Borade, both officebearers of the Youth Congress in the Sion-Koliwada Assembly constituency. Mishra is the general secretary of the Sion-Koliwada Youth Congress and Borade is the president.
Complaint against Arnab Goswami
One of the first FIRs to be registered against Goswami was in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, where the police on Wednesday registered two separate FIRs against him.
One FIR relates to inciting communal hatred over the Palghar lynching incident in Maharashtra, and another for spreading misinformation and fake news related to COVID-19 through his TV channel, Republic TV.
The first FIR was registered over separate complaints by Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo and Chhattisgarh Congress president Mohan Markam. They filed complaints stating that during the show on Republic TV related to the Palghar lynching incident, Goswami made on-camera statements that were intended at disturbing harmony by promoting enmity between different communities in society.
The first FIR has been registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity), 295 A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 505(2) [circulation of rumours] of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Next, based on a complaint by Raipur district President of the Congress party Girish Dubey, the police registered another FIR under Section 188 of IPC for allegedly spreading misinformation and fake news related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another request for an FIR was made in Nagpur, Maharashtra by Dr. Nitin Kashinath Raut, a Congress leader and a cabinet minister in the Uddhav Thackeray led government.
The FIR bases its allegations against Goswami on the debate he conducted on Republic TV where he questioned why “Congress leader Sonia Gandhi was silent when Sadhus were lynched in Palghar” and how ”India belongs to the 80% Hindus”.
The representation to the police stated that Goswami had committed offences under Sections 117 (abetting commission of offence), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A, 295A, 298 (uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings), 500 (defmation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and 506 (criminal initmidation) of the IPC, along with the now defunct Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Spokesperson of the Indian Youth Congress Atul Londhe too has filed a complaint for FIR against Arnab Goswami.
Another representation to the police for an FIR against Goswami was made in Jharkhand by Youth Congress leader, Kumar Raja.
The complaint states that Goswami had defamed congress leader Sonia Gandhi by questioning her silence on the entire Palghar lynching episode. Raja has stated that Goswami has not only defamed Gandhi, but the entire Congress party, and that the main motive was turn the Hindus against Muslims and Christians.
Another complaint seeking FIR in Jharkhand was made by Mahagama MLA Dipika Pandey Singh. She reiterated that connecting Sonia Gandhi’s silence post the Palghar lynching was indeed a defamatory act committed by Goswami.
Soon after Goswami claimed that Sonia Gandhi was responsible for the attack on him, the Maharashtra State Youth Congress took a call that its members would give representations to police in every district of the state to file FIRs against Goswami.
Satyajeet Tambe, President of Maharashtra State Youth Congress, also gave a memorandum to the Sangamner police seeking FIR and strict action against Goswami.
Tamil Nadu Youth Congress President, Mansoor has also written to the Chennai Commissioner of Police seeking an immediate registration of FIR against Goswami. He said that the allegations by the Republic TV head had damaged the reputation of Sonia Gandhi and that it would have an “all India impact.”
The complaint states that Goswami on his show had stated that Sonia Gandhi would “send a report to Italy” where she would state "how she has formed a government in a state and is getting Hindu saints killed there.”
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee President Ajay Kumar Lallu too wrote a complaint to the Lucknow police against Goswami on similar grounds.
General Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Youth Congress, Madasar Choudhary, alsowrote a complaint to the Poonch police station seeking registration of FIR against Goswami for the allegedly defamatory comments made by the journalist.
Raking up the aforementioned penal provisions, a complaint was filed in Telangana by the President of Telangana Youth Congress, Anil Kumar Yadav. He stated that Goswami should be subjected to strict action, as he was “inciting communal hatred” and defaming the Congress party.
Rakesh Thind, Secretary of the Rajasthan Congress Committee, has also written to the Chitrakoot police station in Jaipur seeking an immediate registration of FIR against Goswami.
Apart from the Youth Congress leaders, a Mumbai-based lawyer, Advocate Shane Illahi Turky, has also written to the Mumbai Police Commissioner seeking FIR against not only Goswami, but also journalists Rubika Liyaqat, Rajat Sharma, Sudhir Chaudhary and Deepak Chaurasia.
The complaint seeking FIR by the lawyer notes that the journalists named were directly “targeting Muslims for the Palghar lynching case” when the Mumbai police itself had clarified that there was no communal angle to the case.
The latest to join the list of complainants against Goswami seeking FIR is Congress leader Narasingha Mishra, who has given a representation to the Bolangir police station seeking an FIR against Goswami. Mishra has stated that his FIR request is for “hate mongering” and “inciting communal hatred.”
Another complaint for FIR against Goswami has been received at the Haldwani police station, where the President of the Uttarakhand Youth Congress Committee had stated that Goswami had “pure vengeance” against the Muslims and that he was responsible for “inciting communalism” across the country.