For allegedly having used a mobile phone in judicial custody, Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was shifted to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai on Sunday morning. Goswami had been earlier lodged in a municipal school in Alibaug, which has been turned into a makeshift quarantine centre for prisoners.
Goswami, along with two others, was arrested last Wednesday in the abetment to suicide case of an interior designer, Anvay Naik, in 2018.
"We learnt that Goswami was active on social media late on Friday evening, using someone's mobile phone, as a result of which we have shifted him to Taloja Jail," confirmed police inspector and investigation officer Jamil Shaikh of the local crime branch of Raigad.
"I have written to the superintendent of Alibaug Jail, seeking an inquiry," he added.
Since Goswami was in judicial custody, he was not allowed to use phone without the court's permission and his mobile phone had been seized when he was taken into custody on Wednesday, said an officer.
While being taken to Taloja Jail, Goswami shouted out to reporters that he had been assaulted by the jailer inside the jail and there was a threat to his life, as he interacted with them from inside the moving police van. With folded hands, he exhorted the Supreme Court to "please grant me bail" and sought the Central government's intervention.
Goswami has already filed an application before the Bombay High Court seeking interim bail. After a daylong hearing on Saturday, a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and M S Karnik reserved its order for Monday, without granting any immediate relief to Goswami.
Following Goswami's claim of alleged assault by police officials, his wife issued a press statement that "an innocent man and journalist of decades of repute, a journalist doing his duty for the nation, has been assaulted, harassed and framed on fake charges. He has been thrown into jail with no reprieve. The state machinery has turned into a handmaiden for politically motivated aggression and the pillars of democracy cannot be spectators to the grave and brazen human rights abuses and state excesses deployed against a citizen in the state of Maharashtra by the state machinery," she said.
She further said that in Maharashtra, institutions meant to safeguard law and order had become violators and assaulters in uniform. Fundamental rights were being trampled upon, due process was witnessing an egregious breakdown and institutional integrity was endangered like never before, she claimed. With Goswami publicly disclosing the threat to his life and the atrocities he was facing in custody, "the law and order officers and the entire state and national machinery would be held responsible if any harm is inflicted upon my husband," she declared.
"I humbly appeal to the institutions that still hold truth to power and stand tall as a pillar of our great democracy, to take note of the gross abuse and misuse of power at play to punish a journalist who demanded accountability.
A precedent is being set today for our democracy. I turn to the great institutions with the hope that those in power will not remain blind or mute to the atrocity on one man, one citizen, one journalist, one news network and the free press at large, anymore, " she said.