A team of Alibaug police in Maharashtra on Wednesday (November 4) arrested Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami from his Mumbai residence for allegedly abetting suicide of an interior designer. This is a two-year-old case, and two others were also arrested.
In May 2018, 53-year-old Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead at their house in Alibaug. According to police, Anvay had committed suicide and Kumud was strangulated. Police believed that Anvay had killed his mother before hanging himself.
In a suicide note purportedly written by architect Anvay, who was the managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, said he was forced to take his life as he was not paid dues of Rs 5.40 crore by three – Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.
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According to reports, Anvay was in heavy debt. Goswami had denied non-payment charges and said he had paid Anvay. Republic TV had owed him Rs 83 lakh.
The Alibaug police had registered a case of abetment to suicide in 2018, after Anvay’s wife Akshata lodged a complaint. However, in April 2019, the local Raigad police closed the case as they did not find evidence against Goswami and two others.
Home Minister orders CID reinvestigation
In May this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a CID reinvestigation into the case after Anvay’s daughter Adnya Naik complained to him.
In a tweet on May 26, Deshmukh wrote, “Adnya Naik had complained to me that #AlibaugPolice had not investigated non-payment of dues from #ArnabGoswami’s @republic which drove her entrepreneur father & grandmom to suicide in May 2018. I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case. #MaharashtraGovernmentCares (sic).”
Adnya Naik had complained to me that #AlibaugPolice had not investigated non-payment of dues from #ArnabGoswami‘s @republic which drove her entrepreneur father & grandmom to suicide in May 2018. I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case.#MaharashtraGovernmentCares
— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) May 26, 2020
Deshmukh had said Adnya alleged that the Alibaug police had not investigated the alleged non-payment of dues from Goswami’s channel, which she claimed drove her father and grandmother to suicide.
Republic TV had denied the allegation and said that certain vested interest groups were running “a false and malicious campaign and making false statements and innuendos against the company by exploiting the tragic event”.
What next for Goswami?
The CID will question Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda in the case. After the probe, the team will decided whether to chargesheet the trio or close the case. Apart from this case, Goswami is facing police investigation in an alleged TRP scam. Also, an FIR was registered last month against Goswami and others of Republic TV for ‘incitement to disaffection’ among Mumbai police.
(With inputs from agencies)