New Delhi: The News Broadcasting Standards Association (NBSA), an independent body set up by the News Broadcasting Association (NBA), has threatened Republic TV and its editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami that they would lobby with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to get the channel closed and its licence revoked.

What is Goswami’s fault? He stood by a woman journalist who was harassed and humiliated at a Jignesh Mevani rally. He refused to cower down to a bullying cabal of Lutyens’ media. He called a sexist just that.

And yes, he did not apologise to the alleged perpetrator, whose crime was recorded and the CD furnished to the broadcasting body as evidence.

The unfortunate turn of story begins January 9 at Jignesh Mevani’s ‘Hunkar rally’ in Delhi. Republic TV’s reporter Shivani Gupta was harassed and made to bear with lewd gestures by a group of agitated men at the rally.

A visibly infuriated Goswami lashed out at the alleged perpetrators, with the channel circling in red the face of one A Singh, identifying him as the leader of the agitated mob.

After Goswami refused to apologise to Mevani’s “goon”, not buckling to the repeated diktats and threats of the broadcasting body, now the NBA board has threatened to recommend to the I&B Ministry suspension and revocation of Republic TV’s licence.

Talking to MyNation, Goswami said, “I have not received any such letter so far, but the Lutyens’ media must know that I will never apologise to a harasser even if he has the backing of the Congress or of the Lutyens’ media. I will be horrified if anyone expects editors to apologise to lumpen elements who harass and molest journalists. No one in his right mind would expect an apology. In fact, I will exercise my fundamental rights and legal rights to fight this tooth and nail. I will say it again: a bunch of vulgar perverts attacked Shivani.”

Earlier, Singh, along with his partner Pratishtha, had filed a complaint with the NBSA. The NBSA had originally passed an order on August 30, 2018, asking Goswami to air an apology to Singh. It said that he would have to run a full screen apology on 7 September 2018. It also said that if Republic TV failed to display this apology on the 7th, they would have to run a rather longer message on the 14th.

Goswami had then filed a review petition with the NBSA, apart from lodging an FIR with the police against Singh.