'Reprehensible, worrisome': Union Ministers condemn arrest of Arnab Goswami

“We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing,” the Editors Guild of India said in a statement.
'Reprehensible, worrisome': Union Ministers condemn arrest of Arnab Goswami
'Reprehensible, worrisome': Union Ministers condemn arrest of Arnab Goswami
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Shortly after Mumbai and Raigad police arrested Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, several Union Ministers and BJP leaders have condemned his arrest and have lashed out at the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government. Union Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter and said, “Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again. Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the fourth pillar of democracy. It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.”

Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday morning arrested by the Mumbai and Raigad police on charges of abetment of suicide. The case pertains to the 2018 suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik, who was allegedly unpaid after he worked on Republic TV's studios. The Maharashtra government had reopened the investigation into the case in May 2020.

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said Arnab's arrest reminds people 'of the Emergency days.'

"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,” Prakash Javadekar tweeted. "We condemn the Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, for its fascist and emergency mindset, which is on display in Maharashtra," he said in another tweet.

Union Minister Smriti Irani also tweeted in support of Arnab. "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?" she said on Twitter.

Ravi Shankar Prasad called Arnab's arrest "reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome." "We had fought for freedoms of Press as well while opposing the draconian Emergency of 1975 (sic)," Prasad tweeted. "Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have openly attacked Narendra Modi 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!" he added in another tweet.

The Editors Guild of India has also condemned Arnab’s arrest, calling it ‘extremely distressing.’ “The Editors Guild of India is shocked to learn about the arrest of Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, in the early hours of Wednesday by the Police. Goswami was arrested from his Mumbai residence on reportedly an abetment to suicide case. We condemn the sudden arrest and find it extremely distressing. The Guild calls upon the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to ensure that Goswami is treated fairly and state power is not used against critical reporting by the media,” the statement read.

Several prominent journalists and celebrities have also spoken against Arnab's arrest, stating that it sets a ‘dangerous trend’.

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