Press organisations condemn arrest of Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami by Maharashtra police

A number of press organisations have condemned the arrest of controversial news anchor and Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, who was arrested in a 2018 abetment to suicide case by Raigad police on November 4.

The case pertains to the suicide of an interior designer Anvay Naik, who had accused Goswami and two others – Feroz Shaikh of Skimedia and Nitesh Sarda of Smartworks –  of not paying dues close to Rs 5.4 crore in his suicide note. Naik’s mother was also found dead along with him.

The Bombay High Court, on November 9, rejected Goswami’s interim bail plea stating, “No case is made out for release of the petitioner under extraordinary jurisdiction.”

Goswami’s arrest has brought free speech and media freedom to focus in India. However, the selective outrage of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the high-handedness of Maharashtra police has warranted criticism from many as the ruling party failed to speak up against recent arrests of journalists such as Prashant Kanojia and Siddique Kappan in BJP-led Uttar Pradesh.  

Senior leaders from the BJP condemning Goswami’s arrest:

Following are the editorials that touch upon different aspects of this issue:

Indian Express – “..the arrest seems to be a proxy battle between the BJP and the Shiv Sena-led Mahavikas Aghadi government.” Read more here.

The Hindu – “Besides running down the police in connection with the Sushant Singh Rajput death probe, he has been taunting the Mumbai Police Commissioner ever since his channels came under investigation for allegedly fixing TRPs. In this backdrop, the onus was on the State and the police to avoid the impression of resorting to vendetta.” Read more here.

The Print – “When right-wingers speak of Arnab Goswami’s freedom, they reek of hypocrisy, because for them freedom of speech is dependent on the person’s politics.” Read more here.

The Wire – “Instead of journalists and writers wasting their time and outrage defending a regime propagandist, they should find ways to stop this hateful, anti-people and anti-democracy propaganda that is disturbing our communal harmony and destroying our hard-earned social peace. ” Read more here.

Statement by the Editor’s Guild of India:

Statement by Mumbai Union of Journalists: