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Mumbai cop probing Arnab Goswami tests positive for coronavirus

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Mumbai, May 11: At least one of the two senior Mumbai Police officials who were a part of the team that questioned Republic TV founder and editor Arnab Goswami has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, according to Goswami's lawyer Harish Salve .

Salve made this claim during a hearing held in the Supreme Court.

Arnab Goswami

Goswami was questioned by the police for over 12 hours on 28 April over an FIR filed against him for his comments in the Palghar mob lynching case and his comments on Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

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Goswami's questioning took place at the NM Joshi Marg police station, central Mumbai, where the case against him has been filed by a local Congress member.

After coming out of the police station, Goswami claimed he was questioned for over 12 hours over his remarks against the Congress president, whose party is a constituent in the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.

The TV journalist said he told the police his side of the story and they were "completely satisfied". Goswami he was served a notice by the police asking him to appear for questioning.

Maharashtra government had moved the Supreme Court alleging that Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, facing probe in criminal cases for his alleged comments in news shows on the Palghar lynching, has been "browbeating" the police which needs to be insulated from his "pressure" and "threat".

The top court had on April 24 granted protection against any coercive steps for three weeks to Goswami in connection with some FIRs lodged against him in various states for alleged defamatory statement on the Palghar mob-lynching of three persons including two saints in Maharashtra.

The bench had transferred a case lodged against Goswami from Nagpur to Mumbai and stayed the investigation in other similar criminal cases. It had asked the Mumbai police to probe the FIR of Goswami against some youth Congress workers together.

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The fresh plea filed by a Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai police has sought a direction to Goswami "to insulate the investigating agency from any pressure, threat and coercion" and to enable the investigating agency to carry out its lawful obligations in a "fair and transparent manner".

The plea, filed through Maharashtra's lawyer Sachin Patil, has also sought a direction to restrain him from "abusing the interim protection".

The police has narrated the sequence of FIRs and investigation carried out so far and referred to a news show on the Hindi channel of the media house and said, "The statement on his debate on his Republic Bharat channel are aimed browbeating, terrorizing and intimidating the investigating officer".

The plea referred to certain tweets and the contents of the news show and said, "The petitioner had gone on air narrating his story and also carried his entourage of reporters, cameraman etc inside police station where he virtually commanded the police to do certain things and act in a certain way....".

Earlier, the senior journalist had moved the apex court seeking quashing of the Complaints/FIRs filed against him by Congress leaders in different states across the country.

In his plea, Goswami had also sought direction that no cognizance of any complaint would be taken by any court nor any fresh FIR registered by the police. He also sought security for family members and colleagues of his channels.

Goswami has invited sharp criticism from Congress leaders for his remarks aimed at Gandhi during a TV discussion on the Palghar incident in which three persons, including two sadhus, were lynched.

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