In FIR, complainant Irfan Abubakar Shaikh has alleged that Arnab Goswami tried to create hatred against the Muslim community though his show on April 29.
The Mumbai Police has summoned Republic TV’s editor-in-chief and primetime anchor Arnab Goswami to appear before Pydhonie police station at 11am on Wednesday in connection with a first information report (FIR) registered against him on May 3 for allegedly creating communal hatred, said Pranay Ashok, deputy commissioner of police (DCP) and spokesperson for Mumbai Police.
Goswami has been summoned on the basis of a complaint by Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary, Raza Education Welfare Society.
Sheikh had alleged in his FIR that Goswami tried to create hatred against the Muslim community and targeted a Bandra-based mosque that had no links to a protest by stranded migrant workers, who wanted to go back to their native places on April 14, when lockdown 1.0, which was imposed to contain the spread of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, restrictions were slated to be lifted.
Shaikh had alleged that Goswami on his April 29 show tried to spread hatred against Muslims.
“The mosque near the Bandra railway station is not linked to the stranded migrant workers’ protest. The workers had only gathered in an open space near the mosque. But Goswami deliberately highlighted the mosque on his show on April 29 to create communal disturbances in Mumbai,” Shaikh alleged.
“The raging debate on Republic TV was aimed at blaming the Muslim community for spreading Covid-19 in Mumbai. Earlier, too, he made similar hate-filled comments, targeting the community,” he further alleged.
The FIR was registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, and language), 295A (deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any citizen) 500 (defamation), 505 (2) (spreading rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Goswami’s advocate Debarshi Dutta of Phoenix Legal refused to confirm whether he has been summoned by the Pydhonie police station authorities at 11 am on Wednesday.
“Our client has strictly instructed us not to divulge any information to anyone till the matter is heard by the Bombay high court,” Dutta said.