The Maharashtra Police early on Wednesday morning arrested Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, in connection with a two-year old suicide case in which investigations were opened recently. The case pertains to suicide by Anvay Naik, the managing director of Concord Design Private Limited whom Arnab’s channel Republic TV reportedly owed Rs. 83 lakh for building the channel’s studio. In addition, two other companies IcastX/Skimedia and Smartworks also failed to clear its dues. The three companies reportedly owed Rs. 5.4 crore. Naik had to take the extreme step in May 2018 because Goswami and the two others had refused to pay back, according to the suicide note allegedly written by the former. Learning about the suicide of her son, Naik’s mother Kumud too killed herself.
The Alibaug police had reportedly registered a case of abetment to suicide against the anchor the same month but the case was closed in 2019. In May this year, after Naik’s daughter Adnya approached him regarding the case, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh ordered a fresh investigation into the case against Goswami and two others.
The arrest of Mr. Goswami comes at a time when the Mumbai Police is simultaneously investigating a case relating to ratings scam and allegations that Republic TV is among two other channels involved in fraudulently increasing their Television Rating Points (TRPs) by bribing households metred for viewership. The editor had accused the police of harassing him and his colleagues and pursuing a sort of revenge for the channel’s criticism of Mumbai Police regarding the handling of Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case.
Several Union ministers have condemned the latest arrest of Mr. Goswami with Union Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar calling it as reminiscent of the Emergency days. The Editor’s Guild of India, expressing shock, said : We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing.”