Fresh case against Goswami for report on Bandra commotion

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After the Sadar Bazaar police in Nagpur, the Pydhonie police have registered a case against Republic TV co-founder and anchor Arnab Goswami. The FIR was filed on Saturday based on a complaint of the secretary of an educational society, and charged Mr. Goswami with hurting religious sentiments of a community.

The complainant, Irfan Sheikh, secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, referred to a report aired on the channel on April 29, which was centred around the commotion in Bandra on April 14. Hundreds of migrants had gathered outside Bandra railway station, demanding that they be sent back to their home towns as they were finding it difficult to survive due to the lockdown.

“The complainant said Mr. Goswami had made repeated references to Jama Masjid near the spot where the migrants had gathered, despite the fact that the mosque had nothing to do with the incident. He had also made statements like ‘lockdown mein har bheed masjid ke paas hi kyon jutati hai (why does every crowd in the lockdown always gather near a mosque)?’ and this tried to give a religious colour to the incident,” an officer with the Pydhonie police said.

After recording Mr. Sheikh’s statement, the police registered the case late on Saturday evening.

“We have booked Mr. Goswami for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, defamation, and statements conducing public mischief under the Indian Penal Code. The complainant has submitted an electronic storage device containing the video of the telecast and a summons will be issued to Mr. Goswami in due course,” the officer said.

In April, the Sadar Bazaar police had registered an FIR against Mr. Goswami after he made derogatory statements about Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in connection with the lynching of two Hindu religious leaders in Palghar. The case was transferred to the N.M. Joshi Marg police, in whose jurisdiction he stays. Mr. Goswami was interrogated for close to 12 hours on April 27 in connection with the case.

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