Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was arrested by the Maharashtra Police Wednesday morning after it reopened a 2018 case in which he was alleged to have abetted the suicide of 53-year-old architect Anvay Naik, and his mother.
In the suicide note, Anvay Naik had claimed that Goswami and the two others — Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia, a media services firm, and Niteesh Sarda of Smartwork, which provides “flexible workspaces” — owed him a total of Rs 5.4 crore.
The FIR registered by the Alibaug police said Goswami owed Rs 83 lakh to the architect, who owned a firm called Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd.
A police team swooped on the Republic TV’s chief and picked him up from his home even as his family protested while his colleagues started rushing to the spot for live coverage.
The channel strongly slammed the move for “parading the editor of a top Indian news channel like a criminal, pulled by the hair, threatened, not allowed to drink water” after 20-30 policemen barged there.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the arrest of Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra Police.
While coming in support of Goswami, the BJP said that in ‘our democratic setup, independent media is a pillar but now it is being bullied’.
BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda said, “Every person who believes in a free press and freedom of expression is furious at the Maharashtra Government’s bullying and harassment of Arnab Goswami. This is yet another instance of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi-directed antics of silencing those who disagree with them. Shameful!”
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While Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar said, “This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.”
The most critical was Union Minister for Textile Smriti Irani. She tweeted: “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 ?” she said
(With content inputs from ET, CNBC, Indian Express, and others)