Abetment to suicide case: Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami arrested

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByManish K Pathak
Nov 04, 2020 11:17 AM IST

A suicide note was found in which the deceased alleged that he and his mother were forced to end their lives because he was not paid his dues amounting to Rs 5.40 crore by Arnab and two others

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday arrested from Mumbai for alleged abetment to 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik’s suicide in 2018.

Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.(HT file)
Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.(HT file)

Goswami was being taken to Alibag near Mumbai in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, where he was expected to be produced before a local court later in the day.

Inspector general of police (Konkan range) Sanjay Mohite confirmed that Raigad police have arrested Goswami but refused to give further details.

Anvay Naik and Kumud Naik were found dead at their farmhouse in Alibag in May 2018. Anvay Naik’s widow, Akshata, registered a case after a note was found in which the two alleged that they were forced to end their lives because of unpaid dues amounting to Rs 5.40 crore by Goswami’s Republic TV and two others, Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda.

Also read | Republic TV owners named as accused in TRP case

Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh announced a fresh investigation into the case in May 2020 after Anvay Naik’s daughter, Adnya, approached him alleging the Alibag police have not investigated it properly. The local police earlier closed the abetment case, saying there was not enough evidence against the accused.

Republic TV has denied the allegations and maintained the company had cleared all payments due to Anvay Naik’s Concord Designs.

Congress leader Sachin Sawant called Goswami’s arrest a tribute to Anway Naik. “Anway Naik and his mother were compelled to commit suicide after Arnab’s channel failed to pay his dues worth Rs 80 lakh. The [previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Devendra] Fadnavis government failed to investigate the case and do justice to the family.” He claimed there was a lot of political pressure on the then Fadnavis government to hush up the case for obvious reasons. “The [Narendra] Modi government [at the Centre] was protecting Arnab just because his channel was taking their agenda forward. Instead of condemning the action against the culprit, the BJP should feel ashamed for their failure to accord justice to the Naik family.” Sawant added they welcome the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s action in the case.

Congress is a part of the MVA government.

Fadnavis called the arrest an attempt to suppress an anti-government voice. “Emergency came to an end in 1977 but the tendency of imposing it still persists. After Shiv Sena, which stood by the Emergency and Congress, the party which imposed it joined hands in the state, the tendency has surfaced. Such attempts to suppressing the voice against the government are detrimental to democracy. The country has always stood against such attempts,” Fadnavis tweeted in Marathi.

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