India’s largest digital news association – Indian Digital Media Association (IDMA) has condemned the state high-handedness of the Maharashtra government displayed against Republic TV and its chief Arnab Goswami.
On Wednesday, the IDMA issued a strong-worded statement condemning the assault and the arrest of the Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami in a 2018 suicide case and demanded the immediate release of the Republic TV chief.
In its statement, IDMA has strongly condemned the sudden arrest of the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and added that it was shocked to learn about the arrests and the high-handedness shown by the Mumbai police. The IDMA also pointed out how Goswami and his family were assaulted and several vans were changed while forcibly taking him to the police station.
“Republic TV further says that the Mumbai Police had no arrest warrant or court order for the arrest of Arnab Goswami. From the visuals, it was evident that the police were forcing Mr Goswami’s wife and the executive was being asked to sign on some paper, the nature of which is not evident, the IDMA statement noted.
Statement condemns state high-handedness used by the Maharashtra government displayed against Republic TV and Mr. Arnab Goswami. IDMA vows to fight #ArnabGoswami #ArnabGoswamiArrested pic.twitter.com/qgYyEKyxuE— Indian Digital Media Association (@IndiaIDMA) November 4, 2020
Further, IDMA said it strongly condemned the action of the Maharashtra government, that seems to be using its state machinery to silence a journalist and a channel that has on occasion criticised the government.
“This incident is not just limited to the stifling of the freedom of the press, but it is an infringement of personal freedom and liberty granted to every citizen of the country. When the people who are meant to protect citizens become the very people that citizens need protection from, the collective might of democracy needs to enforce itself to demand fairness,” the country’s first nationalistic digital media association.
It added, “The police is well within its right to constitute action against any party it thinks has erred, however, the process of the law has to be followed. This incident only appears to be a zenith in the witch-hunt that was launched by the government against Republic TV over the past few weeks.”
IDMA demands immediate release of Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami
The IDMA demanded that Arnab Goswami be released immediately and that the state government offers an explanation to the people of India, as to why a citizen’s rights are being stifled in the manner that it is.
“We, as a group representing digital news orgs are especially dismayed that if such high-handedness can be displayed towards a legacy media, smaller digital outfits could simply be crushed by the might of the state to ensure that dissenting voices are muzzled. However, such attempts will be opposed and fought by IDMA, for the sake of the right of the media, its right to be free and fair, and for the citizen’s civil liberties,” the statement added.
Republic TV is one of the founding members of IDMA, which is the country’s largest conglomeration of digital media platforms that puts the nation’s interest above everything else. The IDMA has a collective unique viewership of over a 100 million users.
Editors’ Guild of India issues statement
Following the arrest of Republic TV chief, the Editors’ Guild of India too issued a statement condemning his arrest.
The Editors’ Guild, in a muted response, urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ensure that he is treated fairly and state power is not used against critical reporting by the media.
The Editors Guild of India has issued a statement on the arrest of Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV. pic.twitter.com/gL3MstVlla— Editors Guild of India (@IndEditorsGuild) November 4, 2020
It is pertinent to note that Arnab Goswami had resigned from the Editors Guild of India on live TV, over its diminishing credibility and abject silence. During the course of a debate on the lynching of two Sadhus and a driver in Palghar, he had slammed the President of the Guild, Shekhar Gupta, for destroying the remaining credibility of the organisation.
Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami arrested
Continuing their witch-hunt against Republic TV chief, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday arrested Arnab Goswami. The Mumbai Police reached Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami’s residence on Wednesday and physically manhandled him as they tried to detain him in a 2018 abetment to suicide case that was already closed.
A team of Mumbai Police arrested Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami after they physically assaulted and dragged him by grabbing his hair. In a shocking act, a large contingent of Mumbai Police was seen present at Goswami’s residence on Wednesday morning. In the below video, it can be seen how officials of the Mumbai Police were manhandling the Republic TV chief.
In May 2018, an FIR was filed against Arnab Goswami after an interior designer had committed suicide in Mumbai. In a suicide note, Anvay Naik claimed Goswami owed him a total of Rs 5.4 crore. However, Goswami was investigated and case was closed by court after a closure report was filed by the Police.