Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said that the arrest of Republic TV's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami followed due law and procedures and that the Maharashtra state government and political leaders do not interfere in the functioning of the police department.
While talking to news agency ANI, Sanjay Raut 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."
"If there is anything wrong, one wants to say something then the courts are there," Raut added. He further said that the police department, no matter whichever state they belong to, should be allowed to function independently.
Police on Wednesday arrested Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami here for allegedly abetting suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer in 2018. Goswami was arrested from his Lower Parel house in the morning. Goswami, who was seen being pushed into the police van, claimed he was assaulted by police at his home, before being taken away.
In 2018, the architect and his mother committed suicide over alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV, police said. In May this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced he has ordered a fresh probe in the case after a complaint by Adnya Naik, daughter of the architect Anvay Naik.
Deshmukh said Adnya alleged that the Alibaug police had not investigated the alleged non-payment of dues from Goswami's channel, which she claimed drove her father and grandmother to suicide in May 2018. Police said Goswami was taken to Alibaug in Raigad district in connection with the suicide case.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders reacted strongly to the police action against Goswami. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar described it as "an attack on press freedom" in Maharashtra and said it reminded of the "Emergency days". 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," he said.
Union minister Smriti Irani condemned Goswami's arrest, saying if those in free press don't stand upin support of him then they aretactically in support of fascism. Irani, the Women and Child Development Minister, 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?".
(Inputs from Agencies)