The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday targetted Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the arrest of Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra Police.
While coming in support of Goswami, the BJP said that in ‘our democratic setup, independent media is a pillar but now it is being bullied’.
BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda said, “Every person who believes in a free press and freedom of expression is furious at the Maharashtra Government’s bullying and harassment of Arnab Goswami. This is yet another instance of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi-directed antic of silencing those who disagree with them. Shameful!”
While Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar said, “This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.”
The most critical was Union Minister for Textile Smriti Irani. She tweeted: “Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?”she said.
Continuing with the attack on the Congress, BJP’s national vice president, Baijayant Jay Panda said, “Disconcerting scenes of Republic tv editor Arnab Goswami manhandled by Mumbai police carrying assault weapons. Unending harrassment by Maharastra govt of one channel: “We wd’ve come voluntarily if summoned, as we have been doing.” THIS is what an undeclared emergency looks like (sic).”
The Congress refuted the allegation and countered this by asking: “Why is there selective outrage?”
The Maharashtra Police’s Raigad unit on Wednesday morning raided the residence of Republic TV owner and arrested its Chief Editor Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.
A senior police officer Sachin Vaze said that Goswami was arrested in the abetment to suicide case of 2018, which had been closed earlier and has now been reopened.
A police team swooped on the Republic TV’s chief and picked him up from his home even as his family protested while his colleagues started rushing to the spot for live coverage.
The channel strongly slammed the move for “parading the editor of a top Indian news channel like a criminal, pulled by the hair, threatened, not allowed to drink water” after 20-30 policemen barged there.