Arnab Goswami was arrested from his residence on Wednesday morning under abetment to suicide charges in a 2018 suicide case.

Arnab Goswami pointing at his arm after being arrested by the Mumbai and Raigad police in connection with a 2018 suicide case.
news Controversy Wednesday, November 04, 2020 - 20:10

A fresh FIR has been filed against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami for allegedly manhandling a woman police officer who was part of the police team that had landed at his house to arrest him. The FIR also names his wife Samyabrata Ray Goswami and their son. All of them have been booked for obstructing, verbally abusing and intimidating police officers. Arnab Goswami was arrested from his residence on Wednesday morning under abetment to suicide charges in connection with the suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik in 2018. 

Dramatic visuals of the police team arresting Arnab were released by the channel as well as the police, which later did the rounds of social media on Wednesday, where police officials can be seen asking Arnab to come with them since he has been arrested. Arnab can be seen resisting the officials after one policeman is seen pushing him. After a few minutes of heated discussion, he is then dragged to the lift of the building. Arnab’s wife and son can be seen recording the incident on their mobile phones. His wife is also seen resisting a woman police official who asks her to sign a document.

The FIR was registered at the NM Joshi Marg police station in Mumbai based on the complaint of a police officer from Raigad. Arnab, his wife and son, as well as two unknown persons have been booked under Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 3 of Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act (Penalty for defacement). The FIR says Arnab and others have been booked for obstructing, assaulting, verbally abusing and intimidating a police officer on duty and also for tearing up government papers for informing of the arrest.

Arnab’s wife Samyabrata had alleged in a video broadcast by Republic that the police had assaulted Arnab at his residence. According to her version of events, Arnab was assaulted by the police, they allegedly pulled him by his hair and belt as soon as they entered his residence. Arnab has alleged that he was injured and has reportedly mentioned this to the magistrate too.

Here is a video of when Arnab was arrested:

The police said that Arnab was arrested under Section 306 (abetment of suicide), and Section 34 (acts done by persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. “This (arrest) pertains to the 2018 case of a man and his mother committing suicide. We have evidence (against Goswami)," the police officials said. "When we gave the intimation (of arrest) to Goswami's wife, she tore up the paper," said the official who was present at Goswami's home when he was picked up by police.

The police said Goswami was taken to Alibaug in Raigad district in connection with the suicide case. While in the police van, Goswami was seen claiming that police assaulted him and his son and he was also not allowed to meet his in-laws.

Soon after the vehicle carrying Goswami reached Alibaug, just over 90 km from Mumbai, he was produced in a local court, which directed police to take him to the civil hospital there for medical check-up, after his lawyer alleged the senior journalist was assaulted by police.

Arnab was produced before an Alibaug court and the police have sought 14-day custody.

The 2018 suicide case

In May this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced he has ordered a fresh probe in the case after a complaint by Adnya Naik, daughter of the architect Anvay Naik. Deshmukh said Adnya alleged that the Alibaug police had not investigated the alleged non-payment of dues from Goswami's channel, which she claimed drove her father and grandmother to suicide in May 2018. 

Police said that in a suicide note, Anvay Naik, who owned Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, had claimed that he was ending his life due to non-payment of his dues by Goswami, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.

Police said that as per the note, the three firms owed Naiks company Rs 83 lakh, Rs four crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively. Police said the two others named in the suicide note have also been arrested.

Responding to the claim on non-payment of dues, Republic TV had in a statement said the entire amount owed to Concorde had been paid.

(With PTI inputs)

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