Lambasting the Mumbai Police for its FIR against the entire editorial staff of the Republic Media Network, BJP Vice-President Jay Panda asserted that these were tactics of a totalitarian regime. Shocked by the actions of Mumbai Police, Panda termed the FIR as a ‘blatant attempt to harass’ the network and also pointed out at there is something ‘fishy’ with the state government restricting general consent for CBI investigations.
Speaking to Republic TV on Friday, BJP Vice President Jay Panda said, “What I am seeing is absolutely astounding. To file FIRs against 100s of people in the company, clearly, no mind could have been applied and I wonder what kind of specifics they have gone into or any investigation. It seems like a blatant attempt to harass, these are classic textbook tactics of a totalitarian regime. Prima facie what you are reporting is shocking.”
“In the meantime, what the state government seems to have done is withdrawn the general consent for CBI investigations. Now, this sounds very fishy, only somebody that has something to hide would want the CBI not to come and investigate when there is due cause for it. This can only be an attempt to slow down the process, requiring the reach time if it goes to the courts. The police ought to remember that they are an all India service. If they behave in a manner which seems that they are working for regional government, in our democracy governments do change and will change and when this happens they (police) won’t have the same authority to deal with. They should keep that in mind,” he added.
FIR against entire editorial team
In a shockingly blatant move against the Republic Media Network on Friday, Mumbai Police has filed an FIR against the entire editorial team of the network, revealed Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. All 1000 employees of the network have been booked by the Mumbai Police, including top editors of the Network. The Mumbai police has booked the case for a serious non-bailable offence for incitement to disaffection among members of the Police Force and defaming Mumbai Police – under sections 500 and 34 of IPC.
“For the first time in Indian history, an FIR has been filed against every editorial staff of a network. This means that 1000 employees of the Republic Media Network have been booked by the Mumbai police. They (Mumbai police) say ‘How can you air the Hansa report?’ and we said, ‘we will not reveal our sources’. Hence half an hour ago, Param Bir Singh instructed to file a case against all Republic editorial staff. The staff who are part of the production team, graphics team, promos team – we produce the news together. Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, let there be a one-on-one now,” said Arnab.
Earlier in the day, Mumbai Police asked Republic Media Network CFO Sundaram to submit details of every transaction and detail of every journalist with the Network within 12 hours. The details sought by the team include costs of coffee vending machine, air-conditioning equipment, furniture, gardening, makeup, suits and even hairbrush, toilet paper, tissue papers, A4 paper and other stationery. Moreover, Param Bir Singh has reportedly brought in the Economics Offences Wing to probe Republic TV, which is also evident from Section 91 notice.