Arnab Goswami, owner of Republic TV and editor-in-chief, was picked up by the Maharashtra Police on Wednesday and brought to Raigad in relation with a 2018 suicide case. "Now, Arnab Goswami is being taken to Raigad. The investigating officer will be interviewed and the further course of action will be determined accordingly," said Sanjay Mohite, IG Konkan Range.
And what's the case?
In May 2018, interior designer Anvay Naik and his girlfriend, Kumud Naik, were found dead in their bungalow in Alibaug. The police said Anvay had committed suicide, and Kumud's post-mortem report suggested that she had been strangulated and that she had not committed suicide. Before committing suicide, police suspect Anvay killed her. After that, the police reported an accidental death investigation and a murder case. Although the body of Kumud was found on the sofa on the ground floor, Anvay was found hanging by the bungalow caretaker on the first floor.
Why was a FIR against Arnab Goswami registered?
The police found a suicide not written in English in which Anvay said he and his mother decided to take the drastic move on account of payments because they were not cleared by three company owners, Republic TV television journalist Arnab Goswami, IcastX/Skimedia's Feroz Shaikh and Smartworks' Niteish Sarda. Naik's company, Concorde Designs Pvt Ltd, Rs 83 lakh, Rs 4 crore and Rs 55 lakh respectively, owed the three firms, the note added. An officer said that they found that Anvay was in heavy debt during the investigation and was struggling to repay contractors with cash. The Raigad police also found that, after the latter had threatened him to refund the money he had taken, Naik had filed an NC against a contractor in Mumbai. Nevertheless, Goswami denied this charge and said he had made the payments.
In this situation, what happened to the investigation?
In April 2019, the local Raigad police investigating the case closed the case, claiming they did not find evidence against the suspects, including Goswami, identified in the suicide note. Nevertheless, in May of this year, the daughter of Anvay approached the Maharashtra Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh, seeking to reopen the case. "In May, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted," Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated the public non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami that drove her father and grandma to suicide in May 2018. I ordered a re-investigation of the case by CID.
Adnya also alleged that the police had not investigated the Rs 83 lakh angle that Goswami had not paid to her father who had led him to commit suicide. While the case was transferred to CID by the Home Department in May this year, officers outside Arnab's residence Wednesday said the very court where the Raigad police had filed a closure report had given Raigad police permission to reopen the case now. CID officials have stated that they do not have a case against Goswami.
In this scenario, what is happening?
Goswami will now be questioned by the Maharashtra Police and asked him to provide evidence to support his statement that he had made the payments because of Anvay. They will decide either to close the case or to prosecute him, depending on the investigation.
Is this linked to Mumbai Police investigating the case?
Oh, no. This has no reference to the cases facing Goswami in connexion with the police in Mumbai. On Wednesday morning, a team from the Mumbai Police went to his residence to assist the Maharashtra Police.
In Mumbai, what cases does he face?
Republic was identified in the TRP scam where the channel was allegedly involved in making payments to raise TRPs along with five others. The Republic has denied the allegations. For 'incitement to disaffection' over a display in which the channel said that many police officers in Mumbai were against Commissioner Param Bir Singh's action, a FIR has been lodged against Goswami. Besides this, for allegedly communalizing activities such as the gathering of migrants outside Bandra railway station and the lynching of Sadhus in Palghar, two FIRs were registered against Goswami. It was also initiated against Goswami following these two FIR chapter proceedings and he was asked to sign a good conduct bond. Goswami had appealed against these FIRs to the Supreme Court and was asked to approach the Bombay High Court that is currently hearing the case. A show cause notice was also given by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the initiation of a violation of privilege motion against him for reporting on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In the Supreme Court as well, Goswami challenged this.