The recent, brief incarceration faced by journalist Arnab Goswami had triggered nation-wide outrage. From outraged Twitter trends and counter allegations to communication between the Chief Minister's and Governor's offices - there had been many developments during his brief detention. Goswami's release from detention was also an ostentation event, with massive crowds cheering from the sides of the road as the elated journalist pumped his fist into the air.
While the Republic TV Editor in Chief has repeatedly clashed with the Maharashtra administration over the last few months, the latest incident pertains to his arrest in a 2018 suicide case. Goswami was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik. A suicide note recovered by the police had named the owners of three companies including Goswami who had allegedly owed Anvay a massive amount of money and refused to pay.
Goswami had initially been housed at a school designated as a COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison. He had later been shifted to Taloja jail after allegedly being found using a mobile phone while in custody. Around the same time, the journalist had alleged that he was being "assaulted" in jail and was not being allowed to meet his family.
This was followed by Maharashtra Governor promptly calling the state government to express concern about Goswami's health and security in prison. Bhagat Singh Koshyari spoke to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh earlier in November, urging the government to permit Goswami's family to meet him. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also tweeted on the issue, urging the High Court to take cognizance of the situation.
Now, there has been a new development to the story, with activist Saket Gokhale stating that in over a year since Koshyari became the Governor of Maharashtra, there had not been a single letter sent to the state government regarding the welfare of under-trial prisoners.
Gokhale had filed an RTI seeking this information. As the RTI response confirms, "no such letters were sent by governor to the state government regarding welfare of under-trials since he took office".
And while this by itself does not prove anything specifically, allegations that some people are simply more equal than others have resurfaced. Others on the social media platform have questioned the Governor's motivations, even as a third group raked up previous controversies that have dogged his interactions with the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.