Indian police arrest TV presenter in suicide case | India
Mumbai police indicted Republican TV founder Arnab Goswami in connection with the death of an interior designer and his mother in 2018.
Indian police said they had arrested a brand new television newscaster and charged him with suicide related to the death of an interior designer and the designer’s mother in 2018.
Senior Mumbai Police Officer Sanjay Mohite said Wednesday the charges against the republic’s TV founder Arnab Goswami were related to the deaths of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother, who were classified as suicide by police.
A suicide note found by the police and written by Naik said he had committed suicide because Goswami and two others owed him a large amount of money and refused to repay it.
Goswami has denied the allegations.
Goswami is known to aggressively support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his nationalist policies during his nightly shows, often yelling opponents down. Critics have accused Republic TV of being on Modi’s agenda at a time when other media outlets are claiming press freedom is threatened.
Republic TV issued a statement calling Goswami’s arrest a “black day for Indian democracy” and alleging that he was physically attacked by police. His channel showed a video of Goswami being forced into a police car by officers outside his Mumbai residence.
Several high-ranking Modi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders quickly condemned Goswami’s arrest.
“The apparent abuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy,” tweeted India’s powerful interior minister Amit Shah. “This attack on the free press must and will be rejected.”
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal called his arrest a “fascist move” and “a sign of an undeclared emergency”.
Last month, Mumbai Police also accused Republic TV of manipulating the rating system, a major factor in what a broadcaster can charge advertisers [File: Peter Hutchison/AFP]”We all have to defend ourselves against this attack on Indian democracy,” tweeted Goyal.
Another senior minister of the ruling party, Smriti Irani, tweeted: “You may not like him, you may disapprove of him, you may despise his existence, but if you keep silent you support the oppression.”
The Editors Guild of India, which represents the country’s newspapers, condemned Goswami’s arrest. In a statement she called on the authorities to “ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and that state power is not used against critical media coverage”.
Goswami is not new to controversy.
In two other cases he was charged with inciting community tensions and promoting hatred between religious groups. He has denied these allegations.
In October, Mumbai Police also accused Republic TV of tampering with the rating system, a major factor in what a station can charge advertisers. Goswami and his channel have denied the allegations.
For the past few months he has been following the Mumbai police from wall to wall on charges of ill-treatment of an investigation into the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, a popular actor.