Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has been arrested by the Raigad police on Wednesday. He was arrested in connection with an abetment to suicide case filed against him and two others in 2018. Notably, the police have reopened investigations in the case.
A senior cop said that Goswami is being taken to Raigad where he will be interrogated by the investigating officer and thereafter, further course of action will be decided.
Arnab Goswami’s wife claimed that the cops manhandled Arnab and thrashed him, despite Arnab agreeing to go with them.
The arrest of Arnab Goswami evoked a strong reaction from BJP leaders, who criticised the Maharashtra government’s action and equated it with the imposition of Emergency.
Union home minister Amit Shah said: “Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again. Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy. It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.”
Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar said: “We condemn the attack on press freedom in #Maharashtra. This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.”
Former Mahrashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “Arnab is paying the price of exposing every plot and move by Congress party to protect & encourage the ones instigating communal violence. Who is sheltering Tukde Tukde Gang & Palghar priest murderers? India wants an answer from Sonia ji & Rahul Gandhi! #EmergencyInMaharashtra”
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Rout said: “The law is followed in Maharashtra. Police can take action if they have evidence against anyone. Since the formation of Thackeray government, no action has been taken against anyone for revenge.”
Interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead at their bungalow in Alibaug in May 2018. Naik’s daughter Adnya claimed non-payment of dues by Republic TV had driven her father and grandmother to suicide.
The police had found a suicide not written in English that said he and his mother decided to take the extreme step on account of payments due to them not being cleared by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.
The three firms owed Naik’s company, Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, Rs 83 lakh, Rs 4 crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively, the note added.
In May this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the state CID will re re-investigate the case. The case was closed by the Raigad Police last year.
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