The Maharashtra government on Tuesday announced that the abetment to suicide case registered against Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and two others in 2018 will be inquired into again by the state Criminal Investigation Department, PTI reported.
A 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. A suicide note purportedly written by Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs, said that Goswami and two others had not paid Rs 5.40 crore that they owed to him in exchange for services rendered, due to which he was taking the extreme step. Concorde Designs is a Mumbai-based architectural and interior designing firm. Naik’s mother was on the firm’s board of directors.
The Alibaug police had at the time filed a case of abetment to suicide in connection with the matter. However, the case was closed by the Raigad police last year, The Indian Express reported.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that a fresh investigation has been ordered after Naik’s daughter Adnya approached him earlier this year, alleging that the Alibaug police had not investigated the case. “Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami’s Republic, which drove her entrepreneur father and grandmom to suicide in May 2018,” he tweeted. “I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case.”
The local police had closed the case, saying that there was not enough evidence against the accused. “We had registered a case of abetment to suicide against three persons when the body was found,” Raigad Superintendent of Police Anil Paraskar told the newspaper. “However, last April we submitted a summary report before a court stating that there was not enough evidence to file a chargesheet against the accused.”
Republic TV had earlier denied the allegations and claimed that certain vested interest groups were running “a false and malicious campaign” against the company by exploiting the deaths of the Naiks. They had also maintained that the company cleared all payments due to Concorde Designs.
However, Adnya Naik accused Goswami of not paying Rs 83 lakh that he owed to her father.
Last week, the Supreme Court had refused to quash the first information reports filed against Goswami for his comments against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the Palghar lynching case. In another FIR, the TV anchor has been accused of communalising the Bandra migrant incident of April 14. A large number of people had assembled at the Bandra station in the hope of returning home during the Covid-19 lockdown. The complainant, Irfan Abubakar Shaikh, secretary of Raza Educational Welfare Society, referred to a report aired on the channel on April 29. He said Goswami had targeted a mosque in Bandra that had no link with the migrants protest, and made multiple communal and inflammatory statements on air.