- Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic Bharat TV arrested from his resident
- Mumbai Police arrested the journalist in a 2 year old suicide case
- Politicians react to the arrest of journalist, calls it “shades of emergency”
The editor-in-chief and owner of Republic Bharat TV, Arnab Goswami, has been arrested by the Mumbai Police in a 2 year old suicide case in which the investigations were recently opened. A lot many Union Ministers came forward and have condemned the arrest even calling it as an attack on the freedom of the press, with Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar calling it a reminder of the Emergency.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted, “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,” on the news of the arrest of journalist Arnab Goswami.
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.@PIB_India @DDNewslive @republic— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 4, 2020
Arnab Goswami claims that he was not only manhandled by the Mumbai Police but also assaulted at his Mumbai residence before he was pushed into the police van.
News agency ANI (Asian News International) quoted Goswami saying that the Mumbai Police “physically assaulted his mother-in-law and father-in-law, son and wife.”
In videos which have been aired by the Republic TV, policemen were seen holding him as they were attempting to take him away.
The editor-in-chief of the Republic Bharat TV was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer, Anvay Naik, and his mother, in 2018.
The designer had reportedly named Arnab Goswami in a suicide note and had accused Republic TV of not paying him his dues.
Back in May, the Home Minister of Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh, announced that the suicide is being reinvestigated after a fresh complaint was filed by the last designer’s daughter, Adnya Naik. Mr Deshmukh had claimed that Adnya believed the Alibaug police had not investigated Republic’s role in the non-payment of dues, which, she claimed, drove her father and grandmother to suicide in May 2018.
The arrest of Arnab Goswami comes when he was already in the middle of a row with the Mumbai Police over how it investigated the rating scam and allegations that the news firm is among 3 channels which are involved in manipulating the Target Rating Points (TRPs) by bribing households metered for viewership.
Arnab had accused the police of harassing his colleagues and pursuing a vendetta over his channel’s criticism of Mumbai Police’s handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
Shiv Sena, which is the part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra has denied any involvement with the arrest of Arnab Goswami. The senior leader of the Shiv Sena, Sanjay Raut, said, “The law is followed in Maharashtra. Police can take action if they have evidence against anyone. Since the formation of the Uddhav Thackeray government, no action has been taken against anyone for revenge,”.
The arrest which took place early morning fuelled a rift of posts on social media platforms with the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-led coalition of “fascism”.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted, “Shades of the Emergency! The arrest of Arnab Goswami is an attack on the freedom of press. Those who really believe in this freedom must speak up!”
Shades of the Emergency!— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) November 4, 2020
The arrest of Arnab Goswami is an attack on the freedom of press. Those who really believe in this freedom must speak up!
Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, wrote, “Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?”
Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him,you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 4, 2020
Arrest in a 2-3 year old case which had been closed by police itself…!! This is wrong. Plane and simple. Shows desperation #ArnabGoswami— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) November 4, 2020
Dissent allows expression in spite of the differences we may have with someone, but political persecution of free press is strongly condemnable.— Pranitha Subhash (@pranitasubhash) November 4, 2020
Those who are exercising tacit silence are secretly turning into cheerleaders of an autocracy. #ArnabGoswami
The police said that Arnab Goswami was taken to Alibaug after his arrest.
The Editors’ Guild of India expressed shock and said, “We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing. The guild calls upon Maharashtra to ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and state power is not used against critical reporting by the media,” in a statement.