• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Arnab Goswami detained in 2018 abetment to suicide case

  • Published at 10:05 am November 4th, 2020
Mumbai police arrest Republic TV's host Arnab Goswami Courtesy

Arnab Goswami’s arrest ‘reminds us of emergency,’ say India’s Union ministers, BJP leaders

The Mumbai police on Wednesday morning detained journalist Arnab Goswami for allegedly abetting the suicide of an interior designer in Alibaug.

Republic TV ran live footage of the police entering the journalist’s residence to take him into custody. He was later put inside a police van.

An unidentified senior police officer told the Hindustan Times that the journalist will be taken to Alibaug.

The case pertains to the death of Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, in 2018. A suicide note by Naik accused Goswami and two others – Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sarda – of not paying dues worth Rs5.40 crore (Tk6.14cr). Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead in their home in Kavir village of Alibaug.

The first information report in the case said that Goswami of ARG Outlier, which owns Republic TV, had allegedly not paid Rs83 lakh (Tk94 lakh) for the Bombay Dyeing Studio Project. Shaikh had not paid Rs4 crore (Tk4.55cr) for a project in Andheri while Sarda, owner of Smart work, had allegedly skipped payment of Rs55 lakh (Tk62.5) for his projects at Baner and Magarpatta in Pune.

Meanwhile, Goswami’s lawyer said that the journalist’s arrest was not conveyed to his wife. “He was assaulted by two police officers,” the lawyer claimed, reported ANI. “His family members were pushed and house was cordoned off for three hours. There are abrasions on his left hand and an existing injury on his hand was tried to be torn apart by police.”

In August, the wife of the interior designer had called for action against Goswami. In a video released on social media, she blamed the journalist for allegedly driving her husband to death.

Reminds us of emergency

Union Home Minister Amit Shah criticized the Congress and said the party and its allies had “shamed democracy once again.”

“Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the fourth pillar of democracy,” he tweeted. “It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.”

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the arrest showed “shades of Emergency”, referring to the period of Emergency declared in India for a 21-month period from June 1975 to March 1977 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. This occurred days after she was found guilty of electoral fraud by the Allahabad High Court and barred from the Parliament for six years.

Actor Kangana Ranaut also reacted to the journalist’s arrest. “These voices will keep growing,” the actor said in a video posted on Twitter. “Before us, so many martyrs’ throats were slit, they were hanged for their right to free speech. No matter, you will silence, many others will rise.”

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