Arnab Goswami arrested on abetment to suicide charges; Republic TV chief claims physical assault by cops

Naik's family said they 'were happy' with Goswami's arrest and that they do not want to make the issue political.

FP Staff November 04, 2020 09:48:14 IST
Arnab Goswami arrested on abetment to suicide charges; Republic TV chief claims physical assault by cops

File image of Republic TV Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami.

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was arrested by the Mumbai Police on Wednesday in connection with the death of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik in 2018, according to reports. A senior official told Hindustan Times that Goswami will be taken to Alibaug.

The news channel 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.

Republic TV reported that the Mumbai Police blocked Republic Executive editor Niranjan Narayanswamy and senior associate editor Sanjay Pathak from entering Goswami's residence. The channel further reported that eight police vehicles and at least 40-50 police personnel were in the building premises of Arnab, many armed.

The 53-year-old interior designer and his mother died by suicide in May 2018 in Alibaug and a suicide note claimed that Goswami and two others had not paid him Rs 5.40 crore which led to his financial constraints, as per a report by News18. The transaction had allegedly taken place during the construction of the Republic TV studio.

The abetment to suicide case filed by the Alibaug Police in 2018 was closed by the Raigad Police in 2019. However, the Maharashtra government announced earlier this year that case against Goswami and two others would be inquired into again by the state Criminal Investigation Department.

Goswami’s wife Samyabrata Ray told The NewsMinute that the policemen barged into their residence at 7.55 am, carrying cameras and refusing to let the family contact a lawyer. “They thrashed Arnab and held him by his hair. I was writing on a paper about what was going on. They snatched the papers from me and told me I am not allowed to write anything,” she said. The police, on the other hand, said Ray tore the legal papers they were presented with at their residence on Monday morning.

Indian Express reported that Naik's family said they "were happy" with Goswami's arrest.

"There was a lot of pressure on us to close the case from the police earlier. Husband e-mailed Arnab asking to return money and that it was matter of life and death for him. He didn’t meet our father,” Naik’s daughter Adnya told the newspaper.

“We do not want to make the issue political. I have lost two family members due to this issue. We want people to understand how powerful people like Arnab Goswami get away with such things. The arrest should have been made much earlier,” Adnya added.

Goswami’s arrest comes in the backdrop of the TRP scam investigation underway in Mumbai. Additionally, the Supreme Court is set to hear on 6 November a plea filed by him challenging the show cause notice by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for initiation of breach of privilege motion against him, over remarks made by the journalist against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during news debates, as a part of coverage pertaining to the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

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