Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami approached the Supreme Court over an FIR filed against him by the Mumbai police in connection with his TV show on the gathering of migrant workers in Bandra, Mumbai, on April 14. Goswami filed a petition asking that the FIR be quashed.
The FIR in question was registered on May 4 based on a complaint by Irfan Abubakar Sheikh, the secretary of the Raza Educational Welfare Society. It accused Goswami of communalising the Bandra gathering and trying to "create hatred" against Muslims.
In his petition, Bar and Bench reports, Goswami called the FIR "politically motivated" and "patently false, vindictive, frivolous, malicious and precipitated with malice".
The report says: "Goswami has moved the Supreme Court seeking for this FIR to be quashed and for a blanket direction that no cognizance of any complaint be taken by any court on any FIR registered by the police on the same cause of action as in the present writ petition...Goswami re-asserts in his petition that the Bandra incident was a 'fake migrant crisis' that he 'unearthed' through his debate program."
Goswami also said Republic was "the first channel to report the fact that political interest groups, mainly leaders of the Congress, were spreading fake news and orchestrating lockdown violations in Mumbai, even during the Covid-19 situation, was matter of national concern."
Goswami had previously moved the Supreme Court last month, when multiple FIRs were filed against him for allegedly defaming Congress leader Sonia Gandhi. The court subsequently granted him protection for three weeks.
On May 5, the Indian Express reports, the Maharashtra government approached the Supreme Court and accused Goswami of "'browbeating' investigators by 'creating fear psychosis'."
In case you're wondering what exactly Goswami said on his April 14 show about the Bandra migrants, we watched his show so you don't have to. It wasn't just him: Padmaja Joshi said this was a huge conspiracy, Rajat Sharma helpfully questioned why the crowd had gathered outside a mosque. Such dogwhistling, much wow.
You can also read Prateek Goyal's thorough account of what led to the Bandra gathering in the first place.
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