HM Amit Shah condemns arrest of Arnab Goswami as attack on the 4th Estate

Ebangla Bureau

UNION Home Minister Amit Shah says  Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again by arresting  Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of  Republic TV channel. ’Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy. It reminds us of the Emergency era during the Congress regime. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED’’.ASSAM Chief Minister  Sarbananda Sonowal has called for the immediate release of  Arnab Goswami condemning the arrest as part of political vendetta. Information   & Broadcasting Minister  Prakash  Javadekar and his several Cabinet colleagues including  Law and Justice Minister   Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Textiles & Women & Child Development  Smriti Irani and Parliamentary Affairs Minister  Prahalad Joshi have condemned the arrest by the Mumbai Police from his residence on Wednesday morning.   The Editors Guild of India has also condemned the arrest and urged the Maharashtra Government to ensure that he is treated fairly and the state power is not used for critical reportage. Guwahati born  Arnab Goswami,47,  was arrested in connection with the death of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik in 2018, The  Hindustan Times  quoting a senior official said . 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 on Wednesday, 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. Republic TV reported that the Mumbai Police blocked Republic Executive editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy 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 of them were armed. Smriti  Irani says all those who are committed to the free press should stand by Goswami whether they despised him or like him. ’if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next? ‘’ BJP  leader and activist  Ram  Madhav says ‘’opening of a closed case and arresting Arnab Goswami clearly smacks of a vendetta. Hope the judiciary takes an appropriate view. Also hope media bodies react appropriately.’’Incidentally, Goswami, who was associated with NDTV and Times now, is a vocal critic of the Maharashtra  Government on several sensitive cases related to alleged killings of some saints at Palghra and the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The Supreme Court is hearing on 6 November his plea challenging the show cause notice by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for initiation of breach of privilege motion against him over remarks against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during news debates.

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