Hours after Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami alleged that he was attacked by goons of Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, the journalistic fraternity took to their social media handles and opined on the incident. While some condemned the act, others called it staged.
India Today news director Rahul Kanwal wrote, “You set up a nightly cock fight. Initially it has novelty. Then viewers get bored. It’s repetitive. Predictable. Ratings nose dive. You go crazy. Pressure starts showing. Ratings slip further. Then suddenly you are on the edge. How low can one go? That’s the big question.”
Meanwhile, ANI editor Smita Prakash shared a video of the incident and tweeted, “One of the two attackers while boarding the police jeep last night, says about Arnab “he is not a journalist, first of all you should know it”. As if that justifies accosting any citizen and his wife, throwing ink (probably) on his car.”
Here are some more reactions.
"Two people have been arrested for attacking Arnab Goswami and his wife. The FIR has been registered at the NM Joshi Marg Police station under Sections 341 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone 3, Avinash Kumar told ANI.
Goswami in his complaint to the police has alleged that he and his wife were attacked by Youth Congress workers when they were driving back home from the Republic TV Headquarters in Worli.
"At around 12:15 am, when we reached Ganpatrao Kadam Marg, two men on a bike followed our car and tried to overtake it. These 2 men first tried to identify who was driving the car. They stretched out their arms, pointed their fingers at me and then blocked the path of my car with their two-wheeler," he said in the complaint.
"The pillion rider hit the right side driver window several times and then, these attackers realised that the car window was up and they couldn't break through and immediately the pillion rider removed a bottle from his pocket and threw liquid all over the car on the driver's side of the car where I was sitting. All through, both were shouting and abusing in Hindi while making violent gestures," read the complaint.
The senior journalist said that the attackers were later apprehended by the Mumbai Police.
Goswami stated that Shivaji Hosmani, who is deputed for his personal protection informed him that "the attackers had identified themselves as members of the Youth Congress who had been sent by higher-ups to teach me a lesson".
Goswami claimed that he had to make "multiple requests" to get an FIR registered regarding the incident.
"Congress leader Alka Lamba tweeted 'Yuva Congress Zindabad' using her verified social media handle. This celebration of the attack on me further reinforces my belief that this attack on me and my wife Samyabrata Ray has been orchestrated by Sonia Gandhi and her close circle of Congress leaders at a time when we have raised serious questions about her accountability in several cases, including the attack on Hindu monks in Palghar on 16th April," Goswami stated.
He also alleged that there is "considerable" evidence that top Congress leaders have been carrying out an attempt to incite towards a "violent attack" on him and the Republic Network.
"Senior Congress leaders, in fact, have suggested the 'modus operandi' of the attack on me. So it cannot be a coincidence that a physical attack on me follows a series of threatening and violence laced comments by leaders loyal to Sonia Gandhi," read the complaint.
The journalist stated that a "series of orchestrated" FIRs have been filed against him for asking questions directly from the Congress interim chief on her silence on the Palghar issue.
"As journalists, personally we will not be cowed down by such assaults and my team at Republic are determined to ask the question that make the Vadra Congress and Sonia uncomfortable, like we do, of all. I hope this matter will not be covered up and investigated and I'm ready to cooperate to follow up in any way. I would also like to place on record that if there is any untoward incident or harm to me or those associated with me, I will hold Sonia Gandhi and the Vadra family personally responsible given the history of their malice and violence towards me and my team," the complaint said.
In a video message after the incident, Goswami said: "...Sonia Gandhi, you tried to carry out an attack on me when I was driving back from work. Sonia Gandhi bring it on. Maybe you did not like it. But nobody is scared of you anymore. Get your goons out, attack me, stop my car, do the hell what you can. We are not going to scared of you and your monstrous measures."
"I hold you personally responsible for any consequences of any attack on me. If anything happens to me, it is Sonia Gandhi who is responsible. Sonia Gandhi and Vadra family who cannot take my questions right now. I have asked legitimate questions," he said.
The senior journalist alleged that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has tried to spread fake news regarding segregation of COVID-19 patients in Gujarat on April 15.
"I have questioned and exposed the lies of Sonia Gandhi and her daughter Priyanka Vadra who had tried to spread fake news regarding segregation of COVID patients in Gujarat on April 15. I suspect and am concerned that there could be an attempt to conceal the fact that this was a clear attack orchestrated by Sonia Gandhi and the Congress leadership on me and my wife," read the complaint.