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Republic Bangla’s ‘probationer’ defence after FIR against reporter for impersonating a CBI officer and kidnapping businessman

In a bizarre statement, Arnab Goswami’s two-month-old channel says he was not a confirmed employee

An hour after a Twitter user exposed a reporter of Republic Bangla, who is accused of impersonating a CBI officer and kidnapping a businessman for a ransom of Rs 1 crore, the channel, in its bid to distance itself from the employee, made a bizarre defence that the person was under probation and was not a confirmed staffer.

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Republic TV, on its Twitter handle, shared a press statement by Republic Bangla that said, “Republic Bangla has suspended from service Avishek Sengupta.  Avishek Sengupta was under probation and was not a confirmed employee of Republic Bangla. His probation stands suspended effective 25 May 2021.”

Sharing a copy of the FIR in this case, the Twitter user said the accused was a reporter of the Republic Bangla channel.

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The Twitter user wrote: “An FIR has been registered on Reporter of Republic Bangla channel. He is accused of kidnapping a businessman and asking for one crore rupees. There is a charge of payment of 15 lakhs. It is feared that Arnab may also be pulled in this case. Here is the FIR. (sic)”

Republic Bangla was launched by Arnab Goswami on March 7, 2021.

Sengupta is on the run and the channel said it is unaware of his whereabouts.

“The formal communication regarding his suspension has been sent via email to Avishek Sengupta yesterday; after repeated attempts to contact him, he remains unreachable on his phones and his whereabouts are not known to us,” the channel said.

“It is despicable that a public servant was allegedly impersonated and identity fabricated for motivated purposes. The Network wholly and entirely condemns such criminal behaviour by anyone, including allegedly by the probationer who has been suspended and is under probe,” the statement concluded.

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