The Mumbai police registered an FIR against Arnab Goswami, editor and owner of Republic TV channel on Saturday following a complaint that he tried to create hatred against Muslims last month.
The case was registered at Pydhonie police station and investigation has been initiated, police said.
Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society and a resident of Null Bazar in South Mumbai in his complaint to the police alleged that both the channel and Goswami were trying to create hatred against the Muslim community and targeted a mosque in Bandra that had no link to the protest by migrants on April 14.
Shaikh said that on April 29, the Hindi channel Republic Bharat had used footage of the Bandra protest by migrants who had gathered near Bandra railway station. Arnab Goswami was anchoring the show.
“There was no link or issue related to the mosque near the Bandra station. 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,” said Shaikh in his compliant to the police.
Shaikh highlighted alleged comments by Goswami like ‘Ab se thodi der pehle Mumbai ke Bandra me Jama Masjid Hai.’ Aur Is Jama Masjid Ke Pass Achanak Hazaro logo Ki Bheed Jama Hogae’. (Thousands of people gathered outside Jama Masjid in Bandra) ‘Mumbai ke Bandra me masjid Ke pass kisne bheed jutae. (Who gathered the crowd outside the mosque in Bandra?) ‘Lockdown me har Bheed Masjid ke pass kyu Juti Hai? (Why is it that crowds gather near every mosque during lockdown), which he claimed fuelled hatred against Muslims.
“There were many such questions and debate on the channel intended to blame the Muslim community for the spreading of Covid-19 disease. Goswami had made many such hate filled comments against the community, targeting it,” the complainant said.
Shaikh said Goswami linked the Bandra Mosque to the migrants’ protest without any reason and gave a communal colour to the protest which had no link or involvement if any particular community.
The Pydhonie police registered a case under various sections of the Indian penal code.
“We have registered a case against Arnab Goswami and the owner of Republic TV for the hatred. 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,” said a police officer from Pydhonie police station.
Courtesy Hindustan Times