The Shiv Sena in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ has roasted its former BJP ally on the arrest of Arnab Goswami, alleging that that the previous government headed by Devendra Fadnavis had “covered up” the suicide case to protect Goswami.
The BJP has described the police action against the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief as an “attack on freedom of the press,” saying that Maharashtra had an “Emergency-like situation.”
Goswami was arrested on Wednesday (November 4) from his residence in Mumbai for allegedly abetting the suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik.
Goswami and two others were booked under IPC sections 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention) in the suicide of Naik and the latter’s mother over alleged non-payment of dues by the Republic TV.
Also read:Explained: The 2018 suicide case against Arnab Goswami
The editorial in ‘Saamana’ alleged that the previous state government “covered up” Naik’s suicide case to protect Goswami.
It further claimed that a journalist was arrested in Gujarat for writing against the state government, while in Uttar Pradesh, journalists have been killed.
“Nobody felt these incidents were reminders of the Emergency. In fact, the state BJP leaders should demand justice for Anvay Naik, a son of the soil,” the editorial said.
“An innocent man died by suicide along with his aged mother. The dead man’s wife is demanding justice and the police are following the law,” it said.
“Where is the question of the fourth pillar (of democracy) being attacked? Those who are saying this are attempting to trample the first pillar,” the editorial said.
Everyone including prime ministers are equal before the law of the land, it said.
Also read: Arnab Goswami’s car ‘attacked’, journo blames Youth Cong, Sonia
In a related development, the Bombay High Court on Thursday is likely to hear a plea by Goswami.
Goswami, who was sent to 14 days of judicial custody by a Mumbai court, wants the charges quashed and questioned his “illegal arrest.”
A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik is likely to hold a hearing at 3 pm.
The writ plea, filed through senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, advocates Ravi Sharma and Gunjan Mangla, and instructed by law firm Phoenix Legal, said the arrest was conducted in “blatant violation of the fundamental rights to life and personal liberty” of Goswami and his dignity guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
It added that the petitioner was “forced out” of his residence by around 20 officials of the Mumbai Police and was allegedly dragged into the vehicle, and assaulting Goswami’s son in the process.
“It is shocking that a case that was decisively closed has been reopened with the sole purpose of misusing power, concocting facts and forcefully arresting the petitioner (Goswami) in a prima facie act of revenge and vengeance for his news coverage which questioned those in power in Maharashtra,” the plea said.
The plea also claimed that Goswami’s company, ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, has paid over 90% of the amounts due to Anvay Naik’s company, Concorde Designs Pvt. Ltd. (CDPL) as per the terms of the contract.
The journalist said that he was not directly in contact with the late architect regarding any form of work concerned.