In what could be described an egregious display of brute force, Mumbai Police not only barged into the house of Republic TV Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami but also roughed him up and his minor son, along with the other family members this morning. Goswami was subsequently arrested by the Mumbai Police.
Soon after his arrest, Arnab Goswami spoke to the media, condemning the actions of Mumbai Police. He said that Mumbai Police assaulted his wife, minor son at his residence. Reportedly, Arnab Goswami’s elderly father-in-law and mother-in-law were also assaulted by the Mumbai Police.
The arrest of the journalist evoked a torrent of messages of support and solidarity from several prominent personalities who denounced the Mumbai Police’s action against the Republic TV Editor-in-chief and his family.
Union Ministers and other prominent personalities extend their support to Arnab Goswami
Union Home Minister Amit Shah responded to the arrest of Arnab Goswami, saying Congress and its allies have shamed the democracy yet again. He added that the misuse of power against the Republic TV and its Editor-in-Chief is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy. Shah said that the assault on Arnab reminded one of the Emergency days and the attack on the freedom of the press must be and will be opposed.
Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 4, 2020
Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy.
It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.
Cabinet Minister Smriti Irani also came out in support of senior journalist Arnab Goswami, saying those who don’t stand up in support of Arnab Goswami are tactically supporting fascism. Irani tweeted that one may not like Arnab, perhaps despise his very existence but one’s silence means his/her support to suppression.
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
Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the silence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the reprehensible attack on freedom of the press in Maharashtra. Prasad added that while the mother-son duo were increasingly vocal levelling allegations against PM Modi, when their own government is blatantly suppressing the freedom of press, their silence demonstrates their hypocrisy.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have openly attacked @narendramodi Govt through motivated charges of attack on institutions yet they are completely silent when their own Govt in Maharashtra is blatantly suppressing freedom of Press. Textbook case of hypocrisy!— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) November 4, 2020
The chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, reacted to the development by condemning the assault on the senior journalist Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police as a “black day of Indian democracy”. He also asked for an immediate release of Mr Goswami and urged to end the vendetta politics and restoration of freedom of the press in Maharashtra.
A Black Day for Indian demoracy.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) November 4, 2020
I strongly condemn the assault on senior journalist #ArnabGoswami by Mumbai police. Vendetta politics should be stopped and freedom of press should be maintained in Maharashtra by releasing Mr Goswami immediately.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar condemned the assault against Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police. Taking to Twitter, Javadekar said that the attack on Arnab Goswami reminded him of the Emergency days when the press was repressed by the ruling Indira Gandhi’s regime.
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
BJP President JP Nadda said just like India didn’t forgive Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi for Emergency and the assault on the freedom of speech, they will similarly punish Sonia-Rahul for their brazen attack on the freedom of the press to get equal with journalists.
India didn’t forgive Indira Gandhi for the Emergency. India never forgave Rajiv Gandhi for his assault on press freedom. And now, India will again punish Sonia-Rahul Gandhi for their brazen and intimidating use of state power to get equal with journalists.— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) November 4, 2020
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju labelled the arrest of Arnab Goswami by Mumbai Police as “fascist intolerance towards freedom of expression” and reminded that Indians will fight back against such kinds of draconian acts.
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.
Popular actor Kangana Ranaut, who had herself been a victim of Maharashtra government’s vindictive politics, posted a video message on Twitter, expressing her solidarity with Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.
“Maharashtra government today entered the house of Arnab Goswami, assaulted him, and arrested him. I want to ask them, how many voices will they suppress? How many houses will they level? How many people will they strangle? Why be angry when someone calls you a penguin? You look like a penguin so people call you that,” Kangana said.
Arnab Goswami at loggerheads with Mumbai Police
Arnab Goswami has been at loggerhead with the Mumbai Police ever since he had raised protruding questions of the Maharashtra government and interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her silence on the horrifying lynching of the Hindu Sadhus in Palghar. Since then, Arnab Goswami and his channel Republic TV have been the number one target of the Maharashtra government.
Arnab Goswami was put through a wringer by the Mumbai Police for his prime time show on the killings of Hindu Sadhus in Palghar. A case was also registered against Republic TV for its coverage of migrants crisis at the Bandra station on April 14-15. Republic TV journalist and cameraman were arrested by the Mumbai Police while covering a story in Navi Mumbai this September.
Another Republic TV journalist Pradeep Bhandari was harassed by a team of Mumbai Police personnel who encircled him and ultimately detained him illegally. A few weeks back, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh convened a press meeting, alleging that Republic TV had indulged in TRP manipulation. However, it was later revealed that the complaint of TRP manipulation case had the name of India Today channel and not Republic TV. Even witness in the case was coerced into taking Republic TV’s name. More recently, Singh attempted to tarnish Arnab Goswami’s image by calling him the “Mumbai’s biggest hawala operator”.