Raigad Police on Wednesday morning arrested Republic TV's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami. Goswami was detained in connection with the death of interior designer Anvay Naik in 2018.
Meanwhile, Arnab Goswami said that he was physically assaulted by Mumbai Police. He also said that the police physically assaulted his mother-in-law and father-in-law, son, and wife. According to Republic TV, police personnel entered the residence of Arnab Goswami and manhandled him. Republic TV channel telecast visuals of Mumbai Police entering Goswami's residence and what appears to be a scuffle.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar condemned Mumbai Police's action against Republic TV editor-in-chief and said that the action of the Maharashtra government was just like the emergency. "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," the Minister tweeted.
Reacting to the detention, Union Minister Smriti Irani said if those in the free press don't stand up today in support of Arnab Goswami, they will tactically be in support of fascism.
"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 tweeted.
The case goes back to 2018 when 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. A suicide note purportedly written by Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs, said that Goswami and two others had not paid Rs 5.40 crore that they owed to him in exchange for services rendered, due to which he was taking the extreme step. Concorde Designs is a Mumbai-based architectural and interior designing firm. Naik’s mother was on the firm’s board of directors.
In 2018, the Alibaug police had at the time filed a case of abetment to suicide in connection with the matter. However, the case was closed by the Raigad police last year. But in May 2020, Maharashtra government announced that the abetment to suicide case registered against Arnab Goswami and two others.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that a fresh investigation has been ordered after Naik’s daughter Adnya approached him earlier this year, alleging that the Alibaug police had not investigated the case. “Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami’s Republic, which drove her entrepreneur father and grandmom to suicide in May 2018,” he tweeted. “I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case.”
This comes at a times when TRP scam investigation against Goswami is going on in Mumbai.
Goswami had earlier been booked in two cases related to his alleged provocative remarks and defaming Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi in a television debate on Palghar mob lynching incident and Bandra station crowding incident report at NM Joshi Marg police station and Pydhonie police station respectively.
The two cases were registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including provocation with intent to cause riots, defamation, statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy.