Keep Calm! No One Assaulted Arnab Goswami

Social Commentary

Keep Calm! No One Assaulted Arnab Goswami

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

The arrest of Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in a 2018 abetment to suicide case has created a huge furore online. Goswami had alleged on Wednesday as he was being rounded up by the police that he was beaten up. Now, there are now photos being circulated on social media, claiming that the Maharashtra Police thrashed the journalist in a police station.

The images were shared by BJP leader and state spokesperson Gaurav Goel. “Can’t believe he is #ArnabGoswami. If it’s real… Maharashtra Govt has asked for the doomsday,” he said in his tweet, using #महाराष्ट्र_सरकार_बरखास्त_करो. The tweet garnered over 3,000 retweets and 5,000 likes.

As it turns out, the pictures doing the rounds are fake.

BJP leader Virender Babbar, from Mehrauli, Delhi also shared the same photo.

The photographs posted by Goel are from a video which went viral in January and it shows cops at a police station in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, thrashing a man, identified as Sumit Goswami. He was brought in on charges of mobile piracy.

A fact that was pointed out multiple times by various users as a reply to the tweet. Yet, the tweet hasn’t been deleted. People have also tagged the Mumbai Police, asking them to take action against the spread of misinformation.

Fact-checking website Boomlive also confirmed that the photos are not of Arnab Goswami.  “According to news reports dated January 10, 2020 a video went viral showing three police personnel of the Uttar Pradesh police brutally assaulting a man inside a police station in Deoria district. The reports said that the incident was from Madanpur police station, in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh when a Sumit Goswami was brought into the police based on the complaint of another villager.he villager had alleged that Sumit Goswami had stolen his phone, following which Madanpur police station personnel picked him up, brought him to the police station and relentlessly beat him up,” it said.

When the incident was widely reported in January, journalists shared the video on Twitter.

Now screengrabs are being circulated with preposterous claims and Twitter is doing nothing about it.

The good folks at Twitter have been busy the last few days, flagging misinformation related to the US elections, not sparing even the President. It’s time they train their eyes on India.