In a shocking development which has sounded the death knell of free and independent media in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra Police resorted to a borderline raid of senior journalist Arnab Goswami’s residence in South Mumbai on early Wednesday morning and arrested the Republic Media Network’s founder and editor-in-chief. The arrest was made on an abetment to suicide case which had already been closed by the police, yet, which now seems to have been reopened at the behest of those ruling Maharashtra allegedly as part of a hateful vendetta being carried out against the journalist critical of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Visuals from the residence of Arnab Goswami in Lower Parel have shook the conscience of the nation, as video recordings have now emerged on social media showing the police team physically assaulting not just Arnab Goswami, but also his family members, including his son. The police team is said to have landed at Arnab’s residence without requisite documents, and in bizarre violation of all norms and procedural precedents. It has also been alleged that Arnab and his wife were not allowed to reach out to their lawyers and a doctor by the police.
Instead, according to reports, Arnab Goswami is said to have been physically manhandled by the Maharashtra Police team, with them also taking to pulling him by the hair and roughing him up. As can be seen from visuals doing the rounds on social media, Arnab Goswami’s wife was being forced to sign an unknown paper, while the police team also pushed around the senior journalist’s son. On the way to Alibaug Police station, Arnab Goswami shouted at a contingent of reporters that he had been beaten by the police while on way to the police station.
His arrest was not informed to his wife. He was assaulted by 2 police officers. His family members were pushed & house was cordoned off for 3 hours. There are abrasions on his left hand & an existing injury on his hand was tried to be torn apart by police: Arnab Goswami's lawyer pic.twitter.com/GIzBntEBoL
— ANI (@ANI) November 4, 2020
— Republic (@republic) November 4, 2020
"Don't push my son"
This is heinous. It has crossed all limits. pic.twitter.com/NlIGZE9W9h
— Shubhangi Sharma (@ItsShubhangi) November 4, 2020
According to Goswami’s lawyers, an existing injury on the journalist’s hand was also sought to be further aggravated by the police who shamelessly took to assaulting a journalist and his family at the behest of certain powers who have made it a life mission to make Arnab Goswami suffer for daring to question their authority in Maharashtra.
Arnab Goswami’s arrest today, in a case for which the police had themselves filed a closure report reeks of the state government using their brute force to stifle and intimidate not just a journalist, but also his family. Social media has erupted in solidarity of Goswami, with Union Ministers from the Modi government like Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Smriti Irani, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar among others going all guns blazing against the allegedly Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra. The Congress and NCP too are being taken to the cleaners on social media, and the press community as a whole, despite ideological and editorial differences with Goswami, is citing their support for him. The Maharashtra Police with its brute and naked display of force against a journalist has effectively united the media community to an extent in India.