Editor in chief and founder of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, is known for his aggressive and heated ‘Prime Time Debates’ with his guests. Recently he has been making headlines for inciting witch hunts and calling for the arrest of Rhea Chakraborty in relation to the SSR case as well as police commissioner Param Bir Singh. However, in a turn of events, he was arrested by Mumbai police from his home in Worli in connection to abetment in the suicide of an interior designer in 2018.
Early Wednesday morning, the Raigad police along with help from the Mumbai police reached Goswami’s residence to arrest him on the charges of abetment of suicide of a 53 year old interior designer and his mother in 2018. 2 others- Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda , are also said to have been arrested in involvement.
Officials say that this arrest was delayed because ‘he took an hour to open the door’ when the police showed up at his house. "Arnab and his wife Samyabrata refused to open the door for nearly an hour despite us telling them that we have come to arrest him in the Alibaug case. We had debuted a policeman to video record the entire sequence of events to avoid any allegations” a senior police offer tells TOI
What is this suicide case?
Interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother had been found dead in their Alibaug house in 2018. The investigating police officials had said that he strangled his mother and then proceeded to hang himself because of financial burdens. The police had recovered a suicide note written by him that stated that this extreme step was being taken because of the payments owed to him that were not cleared by 3 people- television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks. The note also stated that Naik was owed whopping amounts of Rs 83 lakh, Rs 4 crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively by them.
Initially, the case had been shut by the Raigad police in 2019 as not enough evidence was gathered against Goswami to put him behind bars but Anvay’s daughter had approached Anil Deshmukh, Maharashtra’s Home Minister, in May this year and the cased was re-opened again. He had tweeted regarding the matter in May saying “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 grandma to suicide in May 2018. I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case.”
Now he will be questioned by the Maharashtra police and asked to show proof to back his claims that he had in fact covered his dues and paid Naik. The proof will decide whether he would be released or charged.
People have reacted to this arrest by calling it a ‘Vindictive Move’
Since this arrest comes right after Goswami’s public feud with the Mumbai Police over the TRP rating’s scandal and his allegations that employees of Republic TV are being harassed because of the channel’s criticism against their handling of the SSR case, Republic TV claims that this arrest is pure revenge.
The Editors Guild of India has also condemned this arrest by issuing a statement that said "We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing. The guild calls upon chief minister of Maharashtra to ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and state power is not used against critical reporting by the media"
However, Shiv Sena denied all claims stating "The law is followed in Maharashtra. Police can take action if they have evidence against anyone. Since the formation of the Uddhav Thackeray government, no action has been taken against anyone for revenge”