Kolkata, February 8: Kolkata Police has threatened Republic TV Group Editor Arnab Goswami with a defamation suit for airing a story that its Commissioner Rajeev Kumar was “absconding”, contending that it was done to “malign” him and the organisation.
Goswami has refused to be intimidated by the “machinery” of Mamata Banerjee government and expressed readiness “to take them on”.In a letter sent to Goswami yesterday, Additional Commissioner of Kolkata Police said a news item aired by the Republic TV channel on February 2 contended that Kumar “had been missing and absconding for last three days”. “Nothing can be farther from truth. Not only was the CP Kolkata available in the city, but had also been attending office on a regular, with the exception of 31.1.19, when he was on leave for a day,” the letter said.“
We condemn this misinformation and feel that your channel had aired it with ulterior motives to malign both the Commissioner of Police as an individual and Kolkata Police as an organisation,” the Additional CP wrote. He said this had “defamed the reputation of both the CP and the Kolkata Police” and asked Goswami to “respond to this correspondence within three days of its receipt as to under what circumstances you had aired the news item and why a defamation suit should not be filed against you.”
Goswami, while commenting on the letter, said, “I am ready to be arrested by Mamata and her henchmen in the Kolkata Police. Mamata should not think she can browbeat me using her stooges in the Kolkata Police.”Justifying the news item, he said he was “proud we exposed details of the alleged role of her police officers in concealing the Saradha scam. And if she (Mamata) thinks her lawyers and state government machinery can be used to attack us, then let Mamata know that me and the Republic media network is ready to take them on.”