Editor-in-chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami has been summoned by a court in Kerala for 'insulting’ people of the State.
The First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Kannur issued the summons to the journalist for allegedly humiliating the people of Kerala during a debate on his channel. The notice to Arnab to appear at the court was issued on a criminal defamation case filed by CPIM leader P Sasi. The petitioner said Arnab Goswami called Keralites ‘shameless people’ during a debate on whether the Centre had refused to accept relief aid to Kerala from the UAE Government after the devastating August flood in the State that left more than 483 people dead and caused widespread damage of more than Rs 40,000 crore.
Arnab reportedly said: “This group is shameless, is the most shameless bunch of Indians I have ever seen, they have gone around spreading the lie religiously. I don't know what they get for it. Whether they get paid for it? Do they get paid money for abusing their own country? Are they part of a group? Who are they funded by? Point is it is a conspiracy to malign India.”
Sasi, a powerful leader from Kannur and had been reinstated by the party recently after remaining outside over sexual assault charges, had sought an unconditional apology from the journalist as well as a donation of Rs 10 crore to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
The petitioner even accused Arnab of ‘propagating violence’ and ‘belittling Malayalees’. “As a Malayali, I was humiliated. Arnab has to seek pardon with the same significance as that of the discussion telecast in the channel,” he said. Notice to Arnab asking him to appear in the court on June 20.
Incidentally, the offer made by UAE Government did not come as it got embroiled in the controversy over the Centre refusing to allow the State to accept Government' fund towards flood relief. The State is yet to receive sufficient funds and post-flood rebuilding exercises are at near standstill.
Separately, there was an analysis that Arnab as anchor of the discussion was referring to Congress and the Left and some ‘gangs’ as shameless and it was not targeted against Keralites.