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The unwarranted protest

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on January 15, 2021 with No Comments

India’s self proclaimed leading TV anchor and Editor in Chief of highest ranking channel was arrested in broad day light from his house and Mumbai Police carried out a live recording of his arrest.  In no time, India’s leading ruling party Bharitya Janta Party started asking for his release and Arnab Goswami’s channel started airing programs to say that his arrest was “undemocratic”, “attack on freedom of speech”. Most of them were referring to the utterances he had made against the chief of Mumbai police, home minister and chief minister of Maharashtra. And  soon a general opinion was formed against the government of Maharashtra without knowing the details of the case. Mumbai Police arrested Arnab in case that goes back to 2018. Interior designer Anvay Naik, along with his mother Kumud Naik, were found dead at their bungalow in Alibaug in May 2018. The police said Anvay, had committed suicide, the post mortem report of Kumud indicated that she had been strangulated and did not commit suicide. Police investigation lead the cops to report that  Anvay killed her mother before committing suicide. Following that, the police registered an accidental death report and a case of murder. While Kumud’s body was found on the ground floor sofa, Anvay was found hanging on the first floor by the caretaker of the bungalow.

The police had found a suicide note written in English in which Anvay said he and his mother decided to take the extreme step on account of payments due to them not being cleared by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks. The three firms owed Naik’s company, Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, Rs 83 lakh, Rs 4 crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively. The police closed the case closed in April 2019 saying that they did not find evidence against the accused named in the suicide note, including Goswami. Many believe that those in power at that time, namely the BJP and Shiv Sena were known to be close to Arnab Goswami.  However, in May this year, Anvay’s daughter approached the Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking the case be reopened. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had tweeted in May, “Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami’s Republic which drove her entrepreneur father and grandma to suicide in May 2018. I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case.” Its note worthy that BJP is no longer in power in Maharashtra; while Shiv Sena has formed the government with NCP.

Hence, any attempt by the ruling BJP to call his arrest as an attempt against the freedom of the press is directed to misguide the gullible public. The same media houses, journalists political parties did not raise a voice when a  a Kerala-based journalist, Siddique Kappan, who was trying to reach the family of a rape victim in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and charged with sedition. As the case happened in a BJP ruled state. 

Similarly,  Dhaval Patel, editor and owner of a Gujarati news portal, ‘Face of Nation’, was charged with sedition and detained by the police for publishing a report that suggested that the political leadership in the state would change. A  clear case of Vendetta. He was  He was also accused of spreading false panic under Section 54 of the Disaster Management Act. No hue and cry was made in his case too.

In yet another case, noted journalist Vinod Dua was charged with sedition by Himachal Pradesh Police –another state ruled by BJP. The case was registered for his You Tube broadcast highlighting the preparedness of the government for Covid 19.  Another case where the ruling party jumped the gun.

Those supporting Arnab Goswami need to know that they have different reasons for supporting him, while the government has a case registered against him for abetment of suicide. Also their priority have been different, while they remained tight lipped when other colleagues were being arrested for raising concerns that didn’t go well with the ruling party.

 

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