The Chhattisgarh unit of the Congress on Wednesday lodged a formal complaint against Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief and founder of Republic TV channel, and accused him of “deliberately making inflammatory statements” and using derogatory language against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in his show.
As of late evening, Raipur police were in the process of registering an FIR, officials said.
In Maharashtra, state Youth Congress (YC) president Satyajeet Tambe said he had filed a complaint against Goswami in Sangamner and instructed YC workers to file complaints in all districts. In Nagpur, state Power Minister Nitin Raut’s son Kunal, a YC office-bearer, filed a similar complaint.
Maharashtra’s MoS (Home) Satej Patil said the state government is weighing legal options against Goswami for allegedly inciting communal hatred in the Palghar lynching case, as also defaming Sonia Gandhi.
Journalism of filth!
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 22, 2020
In Raipur, Chhattisgarh Health Minister T S Singh Deo and state Congress president Mohan Markam approached the police with a formal complaint letter against Goswami. The letter stated, “His statements are divisive on the basis of religion. He made defamatory comments on the Congress national president, proof of which is available on YouTube.”
Singh Deo later tweeted: “I have just filed a complaint against… Arnab Goswami in Raipur for deliberately making inflammatory statements on his channel to invoke hatred…”
A senior Raipur police officer said, “We have received the complaint and are in the process of registering the FIR under Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity on grounds of religion, race, etc), 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief). We are starting investigation.”
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala tweeted a clip of Goswami’s purported comments on Sonia on his show.
In the clip tweeted by Surjewala, Goswami ostensibly says: “Aapki party aur aapke party ke Rome se aaye hue Italy waali Sonia Gandhi chup nahin rahti. Aaj woh chup hain, man hi man main mujhe lagta hai woh khush hai…woh khush hai ki santon ko sadkon pe maara gaya, jahan pe unki sarkar hai. Report bhejegi woh, woh Italy main report bhejegi main bol raha hoon.dekhiye jahan pe maine ek sarkar bana li, wahan pe Hindu santon ko main marwa rahi hun. Aur wahan se wah-wahi milegi.wah beta, wah..bohot acha kiya Sonia Gandhi Antonio maino.”
Goswami did not respond to a message sent to him late on Wednesday evening seeking his comment on the FIR. However, Goswami, who hosts the flagship prime-time debate on his channel, began the show addressing the action by some Congress leaders.
Thanking those who stood by him “ever since Sonia Gandhi threw a tantrum telling her few remaining chief ministers that she wants me immediately arrested”, Goswami said, “I have no hesitation in saying to Sonia Gandhi, come arrest me”.
Addressing the Congress chief, he said, “Nobody is scared of you or your family any more”. He said the “thousand FIRs you are filing across India” showed her “nervousness”. He called Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh chief ministers as Sonia’s “puppets”, who, he said, have been asked by the Congress chief to arrest him.
On Twitter, the top five trends on Wednesday evening were either in support of Goswami or asking for his arrest. —With inputs from Mumbai
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