Arnab Goswami sent to judicial custody for 14 days; officer, who filed closure report on abetment to suicide case, also arrested

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In a huge setback to Arnab Goswami, a court in Maharashtra on Wednesday sent the Republic TV founder to 14 days of judicial custody. This was after Goswami was produced before the Alibag court after his medical examination on Wednesday evening. Goswami was arrested in a dramatic development Wednesday morning for his alleged role in an abetment to suicide case.

Elsewhere, the police have also arrested the officer, who had probed the abetment to suicide case in the past. Quoting police, news agency PTI reported that the officer in question will face an inquiry for his questionable role in filing the closure report on the grounds that there was no evidence.

A special team of the Mumbai Police on Wednesday arrested Goswami from his residence for his alleged role in the abetment to the suicide of a designer, who was employed by Republic TV in the past. The Maharashtra government had decided to launch a CID probe in the abetment to suicide case against the Republic TV founder. This was confirmed by Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in May this year.

Deshmukh’s announcement on a CID probe had come days after his cabinet colleague Satej (Bunty) D.Patil promised that justice will prevail in the 2018 case against Goswami for his alleged role in the abetment to suicide case.

What’s the charge against Arnab Goswami?

Anvay Naik and her mother had committed suicides in 2018. The police had filed an FIR against Arnab Goswami, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks, on the charge of abetment to suicide at Alibaug police station on a complaint by Akshata.  According to the complaint, the deceased had worked with the three persons he named in the suicide note. According to his wife’s complaint, the three did not clear his pending bills, leading Naik to suffer severe losses in his business.

Republic TV in its statement had denied allegations of non-payment in its statement.

At the time of filing the FIR against Goswami, Maharashtra had a BJP government headed by the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. With Maharashtra now being ruled by the Congress, the NCP and the Shiv Sena, Goswami’s detractors hope that that the abetment to suicide case will be fast-tracked and reach a logical conclusion.

BJP reactions

No sooner did the video of Goswami’s arrest go viral, the BJP moved in with lightning speed to extend its support to the controversial TV anchor. Among those condemning Goswami’s arrest included Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Smriti Irani and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar among others. One senior BJP leader, Kirit Somaiya, even visited Alibag, where Goswami was produced before a court, and was seen blocking the police convoy.

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