FIR against Republic TV staff for ’inciting disaffection’ among Mumbai police

Arnab Goswami's Republic TV has termed it as an 'assault on media rights' and said it will fight every 'strongarm tactic'

Staff Writer
Updated23 Oct 2020
Arnab Goswami is already facing two FIRs at the Pydhonie police station and NM Joshi Marg police station.
Arnab Goswami is already facing two FIRs at the Pydhonie police station and NM Joshi Marg police station.

A First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against four journalists of the Republic TV newschannel in Mumbai on Friday for allegedly defaming the Mumbai cops and trying to cause "disaffection" among members of the police personnel.

However, Arnab Goswami's Republic TV has termed this as an "assault on media rights" and said it will fight every "strongarm tactic".

The FIR, registered at N M Joshi Marg Police Station in the city, pertained to a report run by the channel about a 'revolt' against the city police commissioner by senior officers, an official said.

The FIR was registered under section 3(1) of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922,alongwith IPC section 500 (defamation) on a complaint by sub inspector Shashikant Pawar of the Special Branch, he said.

This is the fourth criminal case registered against Republic TV and its employees by the Mumbai police.

The FIR named anchor and deputy news editor Shivani Gupta, anchor and senior associate editor Sagarika Mitra, deputy editor Shawan Sen and executive editor Niranjan Narayanswami.

Also, Arnab Goswami is already facing two FIRs at the Pydhonie police station and NM Joshi Marg police station for inciting communal tension and spreading hatred between two communities.

The accused aired a report on Thursday between 7.00 pm to 7.10 pm about a 'revolt' against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh by senior police officers, the FIR said, claiming that this amounted to incitement to disaffection among members of the police force and defamation of the force.

'Shocking assault on media rights'

In its reaction, the news channel said the FIR was a "shocking assault on media rights".

"This is happening for the first time in the world, the Mumbai Police Commissioner is not above the Constitution and the law," it tweeted.

"In a brazen, blatant and shocking attack on press freedom by Mumbai Police, Republic Media Network has been issued notice to submit details of every transaction since inception and list every single journalist and employee. We will fight each and every strongarm tactic," the channel said.

With agency inputs

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