Updated: November 8, 2020 10:23:46 pm
Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, arrested in an abetment to suicide case, was shifted to Taloja Central jail in Navi Mumbai on Sunday morning from a makeshift quarantine centre in Alibaug. A Raigad police official said that Goswami was found using a cell phone.
A Republic TV video showed Goswami, while being taken to jail, alleging that he was assaulted at the quarantine centre and there was a threat to his life.
“I am not allowed to speak to my lawyers, my life is under threat. I was pushed and assaulted this morning. At 6 o’clock, they woke me up and said they will not let me speak to the lawyers. Please tell the people of the country, my life is under threat. My life is in danger, please tell the courts to help me. Tell the court that I have been beaten in jail,” the video shows Goswami as claiming.
The Bombay High Court will pronounce its order on the interim bail application of Goswami on Monday. The case against Goswami pertains to the death of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik at their bungalow in Alibaug in May 2018. According to police officials, the duo died by suicide over alleged non-payment of dues by Goswami’s television channel and two other companies.
Samyabrata Ray, Goswami’s wife and the channel’s senior executive editor, in a statement claimed that the jailer assaulted her husband after he asked for access to his lawyers and faced a threat to his life.
“This morning my husband, who has spent four nights in judicial custody, was dragged and lugged by the Maharashtra Police in a blacked-out police van to Taloja Jail. He was repeatedly saying ‘my life is under threat’ but to no avail. He repeatedly said that the jailer assaulted him after he asked for access to his lawyers, which was shockingly denied,” she claimed.
“He detailed the assault being inflicted on him during this custody and pleaded, hands folded, to the Supreme Court of India for intervention and bail. An innocent man and journalist of decades of repute, a journalist doing his duty for the nation, has been assaulted, harassed and framed on fake charges. He has been thrown into jail with no reprieve,” she further said.
Ray said institutions in Maharashtra meant to safeguard law and order had become “violators and assaulters in uniform” and fundamental rights were being “trampled upon”.
“The state machinery has turned into a handmaiden for politically motivated aggression and the pillars of democracy cannot be spectators to the grave and brazen human rights abuses and state excesses deployed against a citizen in the state of Maharashtra,” she said.
“With Arnab publicly disclosing the threat to his life and the atrocities he is facing in custody, the law and order officers and the entire state and national machinery will be held responsible if any harm is inflicted upon my husband. I humbly appeal to the institutions that still hold truth to power and stand tall as a pillar of our great democracy to take note of the gross abuse and misuse of power at play to punish a journalist who demanded accountability. A precedent is being set today for our democracy. I turn to the great institutions with the hope that those in power will not remain blind or mute to the atrocity on one man, one citizen, one journalist, one news network and the free press at large, anymore,” Ray said in her statement.
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