The Mumbai Police filed a new case against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for allegedly creating communal hatred, Hindustan Times reported on Sunday.
The complainant, identified as Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, accused both the channel and Goswami of trying to spread hatred against the Muslim community in connection with the April 14 migrant workers protest outside the Bandra station. He claimed Goswami targeted a mosque in Bandra that had no link with the gathering.
Thousands of workers had gathered outside the Bandra station on April 14 to demand transportation arrangements to go back to their hometowns during the lockdown. This came after a journalist had allegedly said a decision had been made to run special trains for migrant workers.
The case against Goswami was filed on Saturday at the Pydhonie police station.
“There was no link or issue related to the mosque near the Bandra station,” Shaikh said in his statement to the police, according to Hindustan Times. “The only issue was that the migrants had gathered in the open space near the mosque. But Arnab purposely highlighted the mosque to create communal disturbance in the city.”
Shaikh, who is the secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, said Republic TV had telecast the protest of migrants on April 29 and Goswami was anchoring the show. “We have registered a case against Arnab Goswami and the owner of Republic TV,” a police officer from Pydhonie police station told Hindustan Times. “Further investigation is going on. As part of evidence after taking the statement we have collected the footage of the shows with the clips in a pen drive as evidence.”
The complainant also said the debate on the channel intended to blame the Muslim community for the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Goswami had made many such hate-filled comments against the community, targeting it,” Shaikh told Hindustan Times.
This came after at least 16 complaints were filed against Goswami in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Chhattisgarh for allegedly defaming Congress President Sonia Gandhi. However, the Supreme Court allowed the police to proceed with investigations into one of the FIRs filed, but stayed the rest.
Goswami was questioned for over 12 hours in the case connected to Sonia Gandhi on April 27. The first information report by Congress minister Nitin Raut was initially filed in Nagpur, but the top court transferred the matter to Mumbai. The court also said no coercive action should be taken against Goswami for the next three weeks, so he has time to apply for anticipatory bail.
The Republic TV anchor had launched a full-blown attack on Gandhi and claimed she had orchestrated the Palghar lynching in Maharashtra. Arnab Goswami had questioned Gandhi’s silence on the lynching and made provocative allegations about her. On April 16, three Mumbai residents were lynched on the suspicion that they were thieves. Two of them were sadhus. The incident had made headlines at the time.
Goswami had also accused the Congress of attacking him and his wife Samyabrata Ray when they were returning home from work.