Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of police, Mumbai in his criminal defamation suit filed against Arnab Goswami has cited a 'parody' Twitter account claiming it is run by the Republic TV Editor-in-chief and used the same to post tweets against him. The complaint also alleges that Goswami and Republic TV used the Twitter account to further spread allegedly defamatory content against Trimukhe and Mumbai police aired by the channel on its shows.
The Twitter account has been cited along with a telecast by Republic Bharat as evidence in the suit. The criminal defamation suit which seeks compensation for DCP Trimukhe, was filed in the Sessions Court of Mumbai through the public prosecutor's office against Goswami, director and wife Samyabrata Goswami and ARG Outlier Media - the company that runs Republic TV.
Trimukhe, who is currently the DCP for Zone 9 of Mumbai Police has in his suit filed on February 3, detailed tweets from the account made when he was heading the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. The suit also mentions examples from shows aired by Republic TV, the English wing of the news channel and the Hindi channel Republic Bharat and alleges that the same was later uploaded to their respective YouTube channels, causing further damage.
The suit mentions a news broadcast by Republic Bharat aired on August 7, 2020 titled, "Sushant Case में गुनहगारों की 'रक्षक' Mumbai Police?" which translates to 'Is Mumbai Police the protector of the cuplrits in the Sushant case?'
BOOM looked into the Twitter account cited in the defamation suit and found that it is a parody account and calls itself a fan account. We also reached out to Trimukhe who refused to answer questions saying the matter was sub judice. When asked whether he knew that the Twitter accout cited in the suit is a parody account of Goswami, Trimukhe said, "It is a matter of investigation. I cannot say anything about it at this stage."
The complaint claims that in a panel discussion on Republic TV about Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty's alleged involvement in the actor's death, Goswami launched a "tirade of defamatory statements..." intending to defame not just DCP Trimukhe but also Mumbai police and its investigation of the case. It then speaks about a Twitter account ""@arnab5222" and claims it is run by Goswami which has allegedly published defamatory tweets to damage the Mumbai police officer's reputation.
The complaint then details six tweets alleging they reputed the damage of complainant - DCP Trimukhe.
BOOM first checked the handle mentioned and hyperlinked in the complaint and found that the copy has used a wrong URL and made a mistake in the actual name of the Twitter account. The complaint claims the account goes by the handle, '@arnab5222' but details follower counts and tweets from another account '@arnab_5222'.
The account that the defamation suit refers to 'arnab5222' without the underscore was created in October 2020, but the suit lists out tweets from August 2020.
We ran a search for the tweet text mentioned in the suit and found that they were tweeted by the account - @arnab_5222
The text and date of the tweet mentioned in the suit match tweets posted by the above account.
We scanned through the account and found that it was created in 2016 and describes itself as as a fan and a parody account of Goswami. The account's bio reads, "prody unofficial ll 25th I'd ll #Nation First ll Believe in fearless journalist ll Fan page || we support Army"
The account which has over two lakh followers is followed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra and routinely tweets against Congress and retweets most BJP leaders and posts supporting the ruling party. The account also follows several right wing handles, verified handles of actors like Akshay Kumar, Union ministers and state ministers from Madhya Pradesh. The account also retweets, likes and comments on fake/parody accounts including those of fake accounts of Nita Ambani, Sonu Nigam, Kangana Ranaut.
The account gets high interaction with most tweets receiving at least 200-300 retweets, likes and comments. The account has also been tagged by others when mentioning Arnab Goswami including posts demanding his release from when he was arrested for his alleged role in abetting the suicide of Mumbai based businessman Anvay Naik.