“Why’s Supreme Court, which held an emergency hearing for Arnab Goswami, silent on Mandeep Punia?”: Ace wrestler Bajrang Punia on journalist’s arrest


India’s ace wrestler Bajrang Punia has questioned the silence of the Supreme Court on the arrest of journalist Mandeep Punia by the Delhi Police on Saturday night. Punia reminded the top court that it had held an emergency hearing on the arrest of Arnab Goswami not too long ago, but remained mysteriously silent on Mandeep Punia’s arrest.

“Why’s Supreme Court, which held an emergency hearing for Arnab Goswami, silent on Mandeep Punia? This is not right in a democracy,” the wrestler wrote in a tweet written in Hindi.

He continued, “One must think about this. Journalists’ voices must not be curbed. Why is democracy being converted into dictatorship? Listen to ordinary farmers’ grievances and don’t work towards suppressing their voices.”

Mandeep Punia, who contributed to The Caravan was arrested from the Singhu border, the site of the farmers’ protest. He was presented in a court inside Tihar Jail where Metropolitan Magistrate Akhil Malik has sent him to 14-Day of judicial custody.

Mandeep Punia had sought to expose the nexus between the Delhi Police and BJP members in Friday’s violence at the Singhu border hours before his arrest. In his viral Facebook LIVE, the intrepid journalist had shared evidence that sought to establish links between the perpetrators of violence on Friday with that of the ruling BJP.

Last year, the Supreme Court had held an extraordinary hearing to grant Arnab Goswami of Republic TV bail days after he was arrested in an abetment to suicide case. The Supreme Court had ordered his release even though the controversial anchor’s plea was pending before a lower court.

Senior lawyer Dushyant Dave, who was the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association then, had raised serious questions on India’s top court’s integrity on extending preferential treatment to Goswami. In a hard-hitting letter to the Supreme Court Registry, Dave had asked if the special treatment meted out to Goswami was at the behest of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.