April 25, 2020 3:15:37 am
A day after the arrest of two men who allegedly accosted Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and threw ink on his car, the investigators have learnt that the duo has been associated with the Youth wing of Congress party since over a decade.
The police said that the two accused identified as Arun Borade and Prateek Mishra were arrested from the spot at Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, after they allegedly attacked Goswami. They were held by his security following which the two were handed over to the police.
Borade, aged 26, who is also a Dalit activist, has been associated with the Youth Congress since 2010. A close associate of Mumbai Youth Congress chief Ganesh Yadav, Borade in 2016 was appointed as the ward president of the Youth Congress for Sion Koliwada.
Until the assembly elections, Borade was a vice-president of the Congress’s Youth wing while Mishra was just a member. However, after the election, Borade was promoted to president while Mishra became the general secretary of the Youth wing.
Mishra is Class 12 pass, while Borade, a B.Com graduate, is now a first year LLB student. The investigators said that the two accused were hugely active in political work in the locality. “They would organise blood donation camps and other functions for the party. And since the time the lockdown was announced, they were also distributing food in the Sion Koliwada area,” sources said.
On the day that Arnab blamed Sonia Gandhi for the Palghar lynchings, Borade had put out a clip of the show on his Facebook wall. “As there has been affiliation with the party for a long time, they got infuriated after they came across videos in which Arnab Goswami in his channel was humiliating Sonia Gandhi due to which they launched an attack on him,” said an officer.
The two maintained nobody else was involved in the attack, however, the police are investigating whether anyone from the party deputed them. “Borade claims that the ink which they used in the attack, he had brought from his home. They had borrowed the bike from his friend,” added an official.
NM Joshi police have registered a case under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. The case that was earlier being handled by a police inspector level officer at NM Joshi Marg police station is currently being investigated by Assistant Commissioner of Police Sudhir Jambavdekar (Worli division).
Defence advocate Sunil Pandey said, “The case was registered under political pressure. The sections that the police have implied have punishment only till three years. So as per the Supreme Court guidelines, the police should have had served them notice initially and then taken further action. But due to the pressure, they arrested my clients instantly.” The two will be in police custody till April 27.
The Congress meanwhile has claimed that the party has had no hand in the incident and the two had acted in their individual capacity and not as party workers.
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