Arnab Goswami arrest booked for abetment of suicide, point to be noted that Goswami has not been arrested for his comments against Sonia Gandhi or Aaditya Thackeray. He’s not being arrested for anything he said on his channel about the Palghar incident of the murder of sadhus, which he needlessly tried to communalize. He’s not been arrested for his ‘witch-hunt’ against Bollywood actors. If he was arrested for any of these, you could have said it’s an assault on free speech. He’s been arrested for alleged abetment of suicide. Anvay Naik was the managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited that gave some services for Republic. Naik’s mother Kumud was on the Board of Directors of the company. The wife of Anvay, Akshata filed the complaint against Arnab as the suicide note contained his name, along with the others. Anvay Naik, who had committed suicide in 2018 but somehow it was BJP government in state and Arnab Goswami had tried to derail the probe. According to the police, Anvay had died by suicide, whereas the post mortem report of Kumud indicated that she had been strangulated and did not commit suicide. Anvay had killed her before committing suicide, the police believe. The police had also found a suicide note written in English in which Anvay said he and his mother decided to take the extreme step on account of payments due to them not being cleared by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.
Yesterday, Naik’s daughter Adnya and wife Akshata claimed they had sent applications seeking justice to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Raigad superintendent of police. Police had said that in a suicide note, Anvay Naik, who owned Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, had claimed that he was ending his life due to non-payment of his dues by Goswami, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks. Police said that as per the note, the three firms owed Naik’s company Rs 83 lakh, Rs four crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively. 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. Arnab Goswami was arrested by Maharashtra Police but again Mumbai police is under attack.
When Left-liberals are put in jail as political prisoners, Right-wingers say the law will take its own course. Why not let the law ‘take its own course’ in Arnab Goswami’s case? While Arnab’s arrest is obviously caused by politics, please also note that the suicide in question took place in 2018 when there was a BJP government in place and the Mumbai Police didn’t make much of it then. If Goswami’s arrest today in an abetment to suicide case is political vendetta, then his getting away with the same charges in 2018 can be called political protection.
The Maharashtra police will now question the Republic TV’s editor-in-chief and ask him to provide evidence to back his claims that he had made the payments due to Anvay. Depending on the investigation they will decide to either close the case or chargesheet him. The arrest of Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami this morning drew immediate condemnation from ministers in the Narendra Modi government, BJP leaders and supporters at large. However, in our polarised times, we don’t expect liberals to stand up for the freedom of a very illiberal hate-monger. Yet, we see so many liberals condemning Goswami’s arrest as an assault on freedom of speech and expression, as well as obvious political vendetta. Many liberals have made the point that they don’t agree with Arnab’s witch-hunt journalism but he doesn’t deserve to be arrested. When liberal journalists or activists are arrested for political vendetta, we don’t see Right-wingers being so high-minded.
In different parts of India, so many people are facing cases or spending time in jail just because they had the temerity to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA, but we don’t see a Right-winger condemning this assault on freedom for a mere difference of political opinion. How many of these people issued even a token condemnation of the repeated arrest and harassment of a good doctor named Kafeel Khan? Rather, they have cheered such arrests. Why is it ok for Umar Khalid to rot in jail while only the arrest of Arnab Goswami is singled out for condemnation, for reminders of the Emergency and lo and behold, “despotism”?