In the early morning hours of Wednesday, officials from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Maharashtra raided Goswami’s Mumbai residence and detained him to investigate his involvement in the alleged 2018 suicide of a mother and son – Anvay Naik and Kumud Naik.
Anvay was a 53-year old interior designer leading a firm called Concorde Designs Private Limited. His mother was one of the company’s board members. In 2018, the mother-son duo committed suicide in Alibaug – a little beach-town on the outskirts of Mumbai. At the time, Anvay’s wife Akshata found a suicide note that said that her husband and mother-in-law were undergoing financial stress after Goswami and two others failed to re-pay their dues, amounting to over $2 million (INR 154 mil.). The designer worked on the Republic TV office in Mumbai, and payments were incomplete, according to the Naik family. Video messages from Naik's wife have been going viral, where she is demanding justice for the death of her husband and mother-in-law, urging the authorities to instigate strict action against him.
This is Mrs Anvay Naik. Listen to her side once before you jump to support Arnab Goswami.pic.twitter.com/DnswibUED0— Ravi Nair (@t_d_h_nair) November 4, 2020
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
Pictures and videos of Goswami being taken in the police van have made it to social media. Meanwhile, reporting the incident, Republic TV has claimed that their editor-in-chief and his son were “assaulted” by the police officials, after which Goswami was “dragged” into the police van.
#IndiaWithArnab | 'They beat my son,' Arnab Goswami manages to say through the van's window after SHOCKING assault by Mumbai Police at his house; Fire in your support for #ArnabGoswami pic.twitter.com/UXZ11rn4tk— Kìm Prīyä ♥💫🦋💥 (@loststar1421) November 4, 2020
Arnab’s arrest comes at a time when the case of a TRP scam is already being investigated against Republic TV.
Meanwhile, India’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javedkar, along with other cabinet ministers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government have condemned Goswami’s detention on the premise that Maharashtra Police could be establishing borders with Goswami, who has been bringing them under the spotlight.
We condemn the attack on press freedom in #Maharashtra. This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.@PIB_India @DDNewslive @republic— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 4, 2020
How can you false arrest someone just because you don't like him?— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) November 4, 2020
Remember, Indians will fight back againt this kind of draconian act.
I condemn the forceful arrest of Journalist #ArnabGoswami
This is fascist intolerance towards freedom of expression.
Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him,you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 4, 2020
The arrest of senior journalist #ArnabGoswami is seriously reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome. We had fought for freedoms of Press as well while opposing the draconian Emergency of 1975.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) November 4, 2020
More details on the case are awaited.