Arnab Goswami, a prominent Indian anchorperson, has been arrested by the Mumbai Police on Wednesday. Republic TV ran live footage of the police entering the journalist’s residence to take him into custody. He was later put inside a police van, reported scroll.in.
The case pertains to the death of Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, in 2018. A suicide note by Naik accused Goswami and two others – Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sarda – of not paying dues worth Rs 5.40 crore. Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead in their home in Kavir village of Alibaug.
The first information report in the case said that Goswami of ARG Outlier, which owns Republic TV, had allegedly not paid Rs 83 lakh for the Bombay Dyeing Studio Project. Shaikh had not paid Rs 4 crore for a project in Andheri while Sarda, owner of Smart work, had allegedly skipped payment of Rs 55 lakh for his projects at Baner and Magarpatta in Pune.
India’s Republic TV and its management has been accused of “of rigging the ratings system by paying poor people the equivalent of a few dollars a month to tune into the station and leave their televisions on,” reported The New York Times.
The report claims that Arnab Ranjan Goswami, an Indian journalist, who is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, has recently been a critic of the incumbent government and Mumbai police. “Come to my house, come to my office, if you have the guts,” he taunted the police on Thursday night. “Come and arrest me!” He called Mumbai’s police chief, Param Bir Singh, “a spineless man” and “a pliable tool.”
Media and civil society members are under constant threat in India after the recent attacks on journalists. There have been reports of the Muslims being deliberately targeted by the police during the deadly pandemic. “We saw that how the Indian government attempted to control media and civil society to run its ideological program,” an analyst told GVS.
Arnab Goswami is infamous for being Islamophobe. “During this lockdown, why does every crowd gather only near mosques Arnab Goswami recently asked on Republic TV.
Is the world denouncing India?
As India has lost its democratic sheen, maintain analysts, it is on its way to international isolation. It is worth noting that the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has re-entered India into its list of ‘Country of Particular Concern (CPC)’ because of the Modi government’s policies against the Muslims.
The report recommended the US government to impose targeted sanctions on Indian government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom in India by freezing those individuals’ assets and/or barring their entry into the United States under human rights-related financial and visa authorities, citing specific religious freedom violations.
In India, there is a relentless anti-Muslim and anti-Islam campaign even at the government level in the times of COVID-19. Rana Ayyub, an investigative journalist, wrote in the Washington Post, “Muslims became the sole culprits responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in India.”
The Guardian reports, “Muslims have now seen their businesses across India boycotted, volunteers, distributing rations called ‘coronavirus terrorists’, and others accused of spitting in food and infecting water supplies with the virus. Posters have appeared barring Muslims from entering certain neighborhoods in states as far apart as Delhi, Karnataka, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh.”
Resultantly, India’s friends, some countries from the Muslim world, are not issuing strongly-worded statements to not only condemn the violence but also to urge the government to curb it. As Jyoti Malhotra, a prominent Indian Editor noted: “India’s carefully cultivated Gulf policy has been at risk of unraveling over the past fortnight, with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Kuwaiti government, a UAE royal princess, and the Arab intelligentsia decrying hate speeches by Indian nationals accusing the Tablighi Jamaat of deliberately exacerbating the coronavirus pandemic as well as a crude tweet by a BJP MP on the sexual impulses of Arab women”.