Kishore Tiwari, a Shiv Sena leader and chairman of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, has sent a legal notice to Republic's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, claiming he was "publicly humiliated, insulted and defamed" when he appeared on debates on both Republic TV and Republic Bharat.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Tiwari said the debates took place on August 12 and August 13, respectively, on the deaths of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and Disha Salian, who had once worked with Rajput. Tiwari, while noting that he was "closely associated" with Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, said he made it clear on the debates that he was "neither representing my party nor any body".
Tiwari claimed that both channels ignored "the fact that the directions of the public debate on the subjudiced matter has caused direct interference & breach of court proceedings and thus is an attempt of contempt of court...as you have been talking and shouting so loudly perhaps just to influence the subjudiced matter in the most autocratic, prejudged, biased & predetermined style against CM Uddhav ji Thackeray."
Tiwari also wrote that he was "not allowed to express my views, thereby violating and infringing my fundamental rights".
He said: "The entire style & approach of debates was based upon false, untrue, concocted stories & prejudice mindset in a predetermined way, which I have never seen & experienced ever before in my Social life, though I am participating in TV debates for more than 15 years now..."
Tiwari also stated that Goswami had "tarnished" the public image of popular leaders like Sushma Swaraj, who "could not bear" the shock and "ultimately her immune system collapsed and she fall victim of Cancer".
Tiwari called for Goswami to issue a public apology "with folding hands" on his primetime debate, and to publish the same in "leading print media". If Goswami did not comply, Tiwari said he would be "constrained" to launch "criminal prosecution as well as civil proceedings" against Goswami.
Here is Tiwari's statement in full:
Tiwari's legal notice comes at a time when the media circus around Rajput and Salian's deaths has peaked. Earlier this month, Republic had platformed an "activist" who claimed that Salian had been at a party on the night of her death, attended by celebrities including the Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray. However, as Newslaundry reported, most of these claims were either contradictory, incorrect or flat-out absurd.
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