Mumbai Police on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to Republic TV’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami over his alleged communal comments during his coverage of the Palghar lynching case and the Bandra migrants incident in April this year.
The notice has been sent under section 108 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), asking Mr Goswami to show reasons as to why a bond of good behaviour should not be taken from him, a police official said.
He has been asked to appear before the Special Executive Magistrate and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Worli Division on Friday at 4 pm, the official added.
On April 21, Arnab Goswami conducted a debate on his show “Puchhta Hain Bharat” on Republic Bharat about the attack on two monks and their driver in Maharashtra’s Palghar.
The show-cause notice said during the debate (in Hindi), Mr Goswami asked whether it was a crime to be Hindu and wear saffron clothes and whether people would have remained silent had the victims not been Hindus.
A case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for “giving provocation to cause riot” and “promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion” and other sections has been registered against Mr Goswami following the program, it added.
His comments could create communal disharmony and hatred between Hindus and Muslims, and the show evoked strong reactions on YouTube, the notice said.
Only because of the coronavirus pandemic there was no violence but the comments posed a threat to communal integrity and law and order, so as a preventive action the police had now started the process of taking an undertaking for good behaviour from Arnab Goswami, the official said.
A bond of Rs 10 lakh for the duration of one year with one guarantor “who is well-known in society and who can control his behaviour” will be taken from Mr Goswami, he added.
The notice also mentioned that before the Palghar incident, Arnab Goswami had allegedly made provocative comments about a crowd of migrant labourers that had gathered outside the Bandra Railway Station in Mumbai during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. A police case was registered against him in this case too.
The Mumbai police recently also launched a probe against Republic TV and two other channels for allegedly manipulating the Television Rating Points.