Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami was detained by Raigad police on Wednesday in a two-year-old suicide case in which investigations were reopened recently, the Mumbai police said today. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, condemning what he called an attack on press freedom in Maharashtra, said the arrest “reminds us of 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,” Prakash Javadekar tweeted as reports emerged of Arnab Goswami’s arrest.

 

A Mumbai Police official said that an architect and his mother committed suicide in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV.Mr. Goswami was arrested from his home in Mumbai this morning. He claimed that he was manhandled and assaulted by the police before being pushed into their van.

53-year-old interior designer, Anvay Naik, in 2018, had reportedly named Arnab Goswami in a suicide note and alleged non-payment of dues by Republic TV. In May, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had announced that the suicide of architect Anvay Naik was being reinvestigated after a fresh complaint by Adnya Naik, his daughter.

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal while condemning the arrest said that it is a Black Day for Indian democracy, said “A Black Day for Indian democracy. I strongly condemn the assault on senior journalist #ArnabGoswami by Mumbai police. Vendetta politics should be stopped and freedom of the press should be maintained in Maharashtra by releasing Mr. Goswami immediately.”

 

Assam health, finance, education minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma,took to Twitter to condemn the arrest,” Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami physically assaulted & arrested by Mumbai police is nothing but muzzling freedom of press by the vindictive M’rashtra govt. Strongly condemn this shameless politically motivated Mumbai police action. It’s like Emergency days in Maharashtra.”

 

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami accused and claimed that he was “physically assaulted by the police” and forcefully taken away. While Arnab was being put inside a car, he told reporters that his family too was being assaulted inside his residence.

The arrest comes in the middle of Mr. Goswami’s row with the Mumbai Police over its investigations into a ratings scam and allegations that Republic TV is among three channels involved in manipulating TRPs or Television Rating Points by bribing households metered for viewership.

News agency ANI quoted Goswami as saying that the Mumbai Police has physically assaulted him by illegally entering his house. Screenshots of Republic TV running the news of police entering his house were also shared by ANI, in which policemen can be seen purportedly inside Arnab Goswami’s house and what appears to be a scuffle inside. A video was also shared by ANI, in which Arnab Goswami was taken to the police station in a police van.

 

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