Hardline tactics used by Maharashtra govt to silence critics

Arnab Goswami was shifted from quarantine to Taloja jail in the morning, him alleging that he was not even allowed to meet his lawyer and said that his life is in danger.

By Vijay Badhwar

Republic TV chief, Arnab Goswami’s voice, one of the sharpest (and loudest) in India, is being blatantly gagged, vindictively, as alleged by social media, by the Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena alliance government in Maharashtra.

On November 4, the TV anchor was forcibly removed from his house while his wife, also a journalist, recorded the incident on her mobile camera while Arnab was telling the police loudly not to manhandle him. She was forced by the police to stop recording the raid.

The police have a number of First Information Reports (FIRs) against Arnab Goswami, the latest involving an old case in 2018 of abetting suicide of an interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother. In a note left by Mr Naik, it is alleged that it said he was committing suicide as the TV company and two others were not making the payment due to him.

The 2018 case against the TV anchor was closed by the earlier BJP government in the state led by Devendra Fadnavis. It has been since opened with the change of government in the state.

The police intimidating tactics were highlighted as, earlier, they filed an FIR that the Republic TV was paying poor families to keep tuned to their station to improve ratings. As the basis for those allegations are yet unproven, it has given ground to Mr Goswami to mock the Maharashtra government and the police which led to his arrest, allege some journalists.

Arnab Goswami had also been going non-stop to criticise the government on handling of suicide/homicide of film star Sushant Singh Rajput which embarrassed the state and police for slipshod handling of the investigation and, in bargain, brought in public view large-scale proliferation of drugs in film industry.

The intimidating tactics of some Sena leaders also surfaced earlier when actor Kangana Renaut’s house was demolished following her audacious comments comparing the Maharashtra government as the one in PoK. Given hardly a worthwhile notice for some illegal construction, the bulldozers were ready to raze her residence to ground at the whim of arrogant Shiv Sena leaders.

The Congress and other opposition parties allege similar treatment of media by the Government at the Centre and, especially, in Uttar Pradesh, tagging the non-complying media as being anti-nationalist.



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