Mumbai Police file FIR against Republic TV’s entire editorial team

Mumbai: An FIR was registered against entire editorial team of Republic TV here on Friday for allegedly defaming the Mumbai police and trying to incite disaffection against its chief.

The police also booked the channel’s executive editor, anchor, two reporters and other editorial staff members for an October 10 show about Param Bir Singh.

Republic TV termed it as an “assault on media rights” and said it will fight every “strongarm tactic”.

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The FIR, registered at N M Joshi Marg Police Station in the city, pertained to a report run by the channel about a `revolt’ against the city police commissioner by senior officers, an official said.

This FIR, the fourth registered by the Mumbai Police against Republic TV, was filed by the Special Branch-1, the intelligence wing of the force, at the NM Joshi Marg Police Station. The complainant, Shashikant Pawar, is a sub-inspector who works at the Social Media Lab of the Mumbai Police.

The first information report was filed under section 3(1) of the Police (Incitement to Disaffection) Act, 1922,alongwith IPC section 500 (defamation).

It named anchor and deputy news editor Shivani Gupta, anchor and senior associate editor Sagarika Mitra, deputy editor Shawan Sen and executive editor Niranjan Narayanswami.

The accused aired a report on Thursday between 7.00 pm to 7.10 pm about a `revolt’ against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh by senior police officers, the FIR said, claiming that this amounted to incitement to disaffection among members of the police force and defamation of the force.

In its reaction, the news channel said the FIR was a “shocking assault on media rights”.

“This is happening for the first time in the world, the Mumbai Police Commissioner is not above the Constitution and the law,” it tweeted.

“In a brazen, blatant and shocking attack on press freedom by Mumbai Police, Republic Media Network has been issued notice to submit details of every transaction since inception and list every single journalist and employee. We will fight each and every strongarm tactic,” the channel said.

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