A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against senior journalist Arnab Goswami for allegedly assaulting a lady officer of the Mumbai Police. According to news reports, the incident happened when the police force reached his Mumbai residence to arrest him on the morning of November 4. The Republic TV editor was arrested today in relation to a 2018 case of abetment to suicide. Read our full report here.
However as Arnab Goswami trends on social media, his lawyer has spoken up. Harish Salve has said there was no permission sought to open the case. Salve is defending Goswami and put up his arguments in Bombay High Court. Salve said, as reported by Goswami’s own channel, “there is prima facie finding of the magistrate before you that the arrest is illegal.”
#LIVE on #IndiaWithArnab | Updates of Sr Advocate Harish Salve's arguments in Bombay High Court in Arnab Goswami's plea against his arrest #BREAKING on Republic TV; Tweet your views and tune in here – https://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/EBgatkN1xR
— Republic (@republic) November 6, 2020
ANI reported that an FIR was registered against Goswami for assaulting a lady police officer when the team reached his house.
FIR registered against Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for allegedly assaulting a lady police officer when police team reached his residence in Mumbai this morning.
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2020
Arnab Goswami Arrested: Case Background
In May 2018, Anvay Naik, a 53-year-old interior designer based in Maharashtra’s Alibaug, along with his mother had reportedly died by suicide. The suicide note mentioned news anchor Goswami’s name, alleging non-payment of dues. In 2019, the case had been closed.
Then in May this year, Naik’s daughter Adnya met with Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, following which he ordered a CID investigation into the case. In relation to this, two others, aside from Goswami, have been arrested by the police today. Republic TV has denied all charges.
Reactions To The Arrest
Goswami’s arrest has invited a wide range of reactions from political leaders, speakers and public personalities. Reacting strongly to the incident, BJP leader and Union Minister Smriti Irani urged those in the “free press” to disregard their personal views on Goswami and challenge his arrest. Similarly, Home Minister Amit Shah has responded to Goswami’s arrest by likening it to India’s Emergency period in the 1970s.
Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again.
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. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 4, 2020
Actor Kangana Ranaut has released a video statement for the Maharashtra government, alleging their suppression of free speech and condemning Goswami’s arrest. Swara Bhasker, meanwhile, has shared multiple videos of Naik’s family demanding justice for him.