Coming out in support of the state police over the arrest of Republic Media Network editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami in a case of abetment to suicide, leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on Wednesday said that rule of law prevailed in Maharashtra and the arrest was neither driven by political vendetta nor was it an attack on the freedom of press.
“There is no vendetta politics or attack on the freedom of press. The case is being investigated after a court order,” minister and Shiv Sena spokesperson Anil Parab told mediapersons. “BJP leaders are shouting today about Goswami’s arrest as if he is a BJP worker. The investigation in the suicide case has started and Goswami has been arrested. Where does the question of freedom of press or Emergency come in?” he asked. The day witnessed several protests held by BJP leaders in support of Goswami.
“The BJP’s parrot has been put in a cage. It needs to be seen whether BJP’s life is stuck in the parrot. Why is the BJP silent on the arrest of two other persons (named in the suicide note of interior designer Anvay Naik)? The BJP fears that some names will come out of Arnab’s mouth, which is why it has come out on the streets,” said Parab.
Shiv Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut said that the state follows the rule of law. “If we have made any mistake, the law will not leave us as well. Mumbai and Maharashtra Police do neither act in an unjust way nor are they vindictive. If someone has committed a crime and if his involvement is found, then the police would take action. It has nothing to do with the state government or any political party,” he added.
In 2018, interior designer Anvay Naik, along with his mother Kumud Naik, had died by suicide. The police had found a suicide note in which Anvay had named three persons, including Goswami.
Home Minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh told mediapersons: “Nobody is above the law and Maharashtra Police will take appropriate action as per law.” He added that the case was reopened after interior designer’s wife approached a court. “The court gave permission to reopen the case,” he added.
The local Raigad police had closed the case last April, saying it did not find evidence against the accused named in the suicide note. However, in May this year, Anvay’s daughter approached Deshmukh and later, the minister had tweeted that a CID re-investigation has been ordered into the case.
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said action taken by police against Goswami is justified and it is wrong to link the same with freedom of press. “The Fadnavis government did not take any action on the matter in two years. An attempt was made to suppress the case. The family of the victim was intimidated by the investigating officer. Powerful people are said to be behind Arnab and now looking at the statements coming from the Union Home minister and others, it is clear who these people are,” he added.