'This attack on free press WILL BE OPPOSED': Amit Shah slams arrest of Arnab Goswami
New Delhi, Nov 04: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday took to Twitter to condemn the arrest of journalist Arnab Goswami in connection with a two-year-old case of abetment to suicide.
Shah has slammed the Congress-led MVA government for the 'blatant misuse of state power' to target the 4th pillar of democracy.
"It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED," the Minister tweeted.
The Republic Television editor, Goswami is at loggerheads with the Maharashtra state government and police over a slew of recent incidents including Sushant Singh Rajput death investigation, TRP scam etc.
The 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. They were found dead in their home in Kavir village of Alibaug.
A suicide note purportedly written by Anvay was found in which he said that Goswami and two others, Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sarda had not paid him Rs 5.40 crore which led to his financial constraints.
In 2018, the Alibaug police had filed a case of abetment to suicide, however, in 2019 the case was closed by Raigad Police.
In May 2020, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh announced a fresh CID investigation into the case after Adnya Naik, daughter of Avnay Naik, approached him and complained that the Alibaug police had not investigated the "non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami's Republic".
Anvay's wife Akshata lodged a complained against Arnab Goswami as the suicide note contained his name, along with the others.
Anvay was the managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited which rendered some services for Republic. Naik's mother was also in the Board of Directors of the company.
After the news of the arrest broke out Union minister Smriti Irani criticised the Mumbai Police's action against Goswami.
"Those in the free press who don't stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism," she tweeted. "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?"
Union minister Prakash Javadekar also condemned the attack on press freedom in Maharashtra. "This is not the way to treat the press," he said. "This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this."
While, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted, "This fascist move is a sign of undeclared emergency. Assaulting journalist Arnab Goswami is an example of misuse of power. We must all stand up against this attack on India's democracy."