Palghar Lynching: Mumbai Police Issues Showcause Notice to Arnab
Goswami is accused of giving the matter a communal spin on his show.
The Mumbai Police on Saturday, 10 October, issued a showcause notice to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami over inciting communal hatred while reporting the lynching of Hindu priests in Maharashtra’s Palghar earlier this year and asked him to present himself before the police on 16 October.
The notice comes in the backdrop of FIRs registered against Goswami for allegedly airing communal content on his channel over the lynching.
According to The Indian Express (IE), if Goswami will reportedly be asked to sign a bond of ‘good behaviour’ for one year and if he violates the terms, he will have to pay a fine of Rs 10 lakh and can face jail term as well.
WHAT THE NOTICE SAYS
According to IE, the notice issued by ACP (Worli division) Sudhir Jambavdekar said, “It can be clearly seen that through your channel, you have put out content that can cause enmity between religious, caste groups.”
“It has been seen that on various debates on your channel, you put forth aggressive opinions that could lead to communal disharmony in the minds of the viewers watching the debates,” it added.
Goswami has been sent a notice under Section 108 of CrPC (security for good behaviour from persons disseminating seditious matters.)
WHAT REPUBLIC TV SAID
The channel issued a statement on Tuesday to say that the summons are “deeply motivated by witchunt” and that it will take legal action against the summons.
“The summons as well as the showcause notice issued to Arnab Goswami reeks of an openly spiteful and deeply motivated witchunt by the state government of Maharashtra against a free press that holds the political dispensation accountable,” the statement said.
“The agenda of the Mumbai Police is crystal clear given the fact that their show-cause notice stands in complete violation of the orders of the courts of law,” it added.
PALGHAR LYNCHING CASE AND CASES AGAINST GOSWAMI
Three men from Mumbai, on their way to Surat to attend a funeral on Friday, 17 April, were dragged out of a car and beaten to death by villagers in Palghar district of Maharashtra on suspicion of theft, leading to a flare-up in the state’s politics. Two of the three victims were reportedly sadhus affiliated to a Varanasi akhara.
At least 16 complaints had been filed against Arnab Goswami in the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh, for giving the case a communal spin on his show.
The Supreme Court on 24 April had ordered that all accusations against Goswami will now be investigated through one FIR in Maharashtra, given that all of them dealt with the same cause of action.
The apex court on 19 May had rejected a request by Goswami to transfer the investigations to the CBI from the Maharashtra Police.
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