MUMBAI: The Congress on Friday held protests across Maharashtra to seek action against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami over his purported WhatsApp chats concerning the Balakot air strike, which it said amounted to breach of national security and violation of the Official Secrets Act.
The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) staged protests in all the districts of the state demanding immediate arrest of Goswami.
The purported chats between Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) head Partho Dasgupta in connection with the Balakot air strike revealed that the former had received highly confidential information about the country's security and he used it to increase the TRP of his channel which is a very serious issue, the state unit of the Congress said in a statement here.
"This amounts to treason," it alleged.
"India launched an airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan after an attack on CRPF personnel at Pulwama. How did Goswami get the information three days before this action took place? Did he give this information to anyone else? These questions need to be answered. His actions violate the Official Secrets Act and are a form of treason," it said.
Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap led the protest near the Republic TV's office at Worli in south Mumbai.
Accusing Goswami of being "BJP's stooge" and an "anti-national", Jagtap said he had violated the provisions of the Official Secrets Act.
"How did Goswami get the sensitive information, which only the PMO and the Defence Ministry is privy to? The sensitive information was used in boosting the TRP of his channel," the Congress leader alleged.
In Latur, the protest was held under the leadership of Dheeraj Deshmukh, while in Parbhani, MLA Suresh Warpudkar led the protest.
Similar protests were also held in Amravati, Nagpur, Solapur, Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur, Chandrapur, Ratnagiri, Jalgaon, Nandurbar, and Dhule.
During the protests, the party workers slapped the images of Goswami with footwear, the statement said.