Seeking accountability from politicians, especially senior Congress leadership, invariably invites retribution, usually a swift one. Soon after the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami posed protruding questions over Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi’s deafening silence over the Palghar mob lynching incident in which 2 Hindu sadhus were killed, the Congress party FIR against the journalist in several states.
The first FIR was filed by one Kumar Raja, Vice President Pradesh Youth Congress, Spokesperson of Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee, alleging Arnab Goswami of making “instigatory, derogatory and defamatory statements” in a debate over the unfortunate mob lynching of Hindu sadhus in Palghar on Republic Bharat channel.
Have filed FIR againt Arnab Goswami .Press freedom doesnt give free pass to peddle lies & hate. His debates are full of poison & have shattered all principles of journalism. He deserves arrest+prosecution .We cant afford Radio Rwanda in India. #ArrestAntiIndianArnab @IYC @nsui pic.twitter.com/4ogBUQLdjS— KUMAR RAJA (@rajazzmantra) April 22, 2020
Sharing the pictures of FIR on his official Twitter account, Raja tweeted, “Have filed FIR against Arnab Goswami. Press freedom doesn’t give a free pass to peddle lies & hate. His debates are full of poison & have shattered all principles of journalism. He deserves arrest+prosecution. We can’t afford Radio Rwanda in India.”
Accusing Arnab Goswami of harbouring “personal vengeance against Muslims and Christians”, the Congress spokesperson accused the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief of trying to set off a wave of communal rights in the country by inciting Hindus against Muslims and Christians. Kumar was referring to the Arnab’s question on why Sonia Gandhi’s reaction to the macabre killing of Hindu sadhus is distinctly subdued compared to her possible reaction on the deaths of Maulvis and Christian Padres. Kumar has alleged that Arnab Goswami’s debate-“Puchta Bharat” segment where he asked uncomfortable questions of Sonia Gandhi was designed explicitly to stir communal tensions even as the country staggers under the coronavirus outbreak.
The FIR which was awash with platitudinous tropes read that Arnab Goswami’s statements regarding Sonia Gandhi’s silence over the matter made minorities in the country more insecure and threatened, adding that such remarks generated “feelings of communal disharmony, enmity and hatred between different groups”.
In the FIR, the complainant Raja has accused Mr Goswami of offences under Section 117(abetting commission of the offence), 120B(criminal conspiracy to commit an offence), 153(provocation with intent to cause riot), 153A(promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295A(deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298, 500, 504, 505 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 r/w Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Congress party is planning to file FIR against Arnab Goswami in several states, including in every state where it is in power. Accordingly, the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee also lodged a complaint against him. The Complaint filed by ministers Nitin Raut and Sunil Kedar demands action against Goswami under sections 117, 120B, 153, 153A, 298, 500, 505 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, and 1860 read with Section 66A of Information Technology Act, 2000.
Madhya Pradesh Youth Congress lodged an complaint demanding FIR against Arnab Goswami.
Uttarakhand Youth Congress committee also filed a complaint and demanded FIR registration against news channel Republic and its Editor Arnab Goswami for “inciting communalism and violence in the country”.
Telangana Youth Congress also filed a similar complaint in Hussaini Alam police station in Hyderabad.
Arnab questions Sonia Gandhi’s reticence on Palghar mob lynching case
Mounting a searing attack against the interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, Arnab Goswami questioned if she would have maintained the silence she is exhibiting today had Christian padres been killed instead of Hindu sadhus in the horrifying lynching incident in Palghar.
“I would like to ask the country, would the country had remained silent if Maulvis or Christian Padres would have been targeted the way Hindu saints were? Would Italy’s Antonia Maino (Sonia Gandhi) have remained silent then? I would like to tell you, if the victims had been Christian padres, Sonia Gandhi, who had come from Rome, would not have remained close-mouthed on the issue,” Arnab said.
Arnab further alleged that Sonia Gandhi would send a report to Italy which would include how she had gotten Hindu sadhus killed in a state where her party had recently formed the government, adding that she would receive plaudits from Italy over the Palghar mob lynching incident in which 3 men, including 2 sadhus, were hacked to death by a rampaging mob.