Mumbai: The Maharashtra Congress last Friday demanded the arrest of Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, for sedition under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Congress has protested in all the districts and various cities over the demand. A large number of Congress workers at various places in the state pelted stones and shoes on the photographs of Arnab Goswami.
They also protested against the photographs of Arnab with slippers. According to reports, Congress workers were also at the forefront of shouting slogans against BJP and Arnab. A number of ministers, MLAs, state and district party leaders joined the demonstration in all the 36 districts of Maharashtra under the leadership of state Congress president and Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat. The list of participants in the protest included Dhiraj Deshmukh, Priniti Shinde, Suresh Warpukar, Sulabh Khodke, Vikas Thackeray, Hashab Usmani, Sharad Aher, Prahlad Chavan, Prakash Devlocks, Vijay Bhosle, Sandeep Patil and Shyam Saner. The WhatsApp chat between Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta had gone viral earlier.
Terming this as a violation of the Official Secrets Act, 1923, Thorat said, "This dialogue falls under the category of ' sedition ', for which the head of the Republic TV should be arrested immediately". In addition, he also said that the talks between the two have made some serious disclosures on national security and relate to the retaliating surgical strike by India at Balakote in Pakistan in February 2019. He also said, "How did Goswami report the February 2019 airstrikes three days before the commencement of action? Who is the 'big name' in the government, which he is referring to?"