Arnab Goswami claims he is not being allowed to speak to lawyers; moved to prison for using phone
The journalist was arrested last week in connection with a 2018 suicide case.
Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Sunday alleged that he was not allowed to speak to his lawyers and also claimed to have been pushed and assaulted. The journalist made the allegations when he was being shifted from a quarantine centre in Alibag to Taloja Jail earlier in the day, reported Hindustan Times. Goswami was arrested last week in connection with a 2018 suicide case.
“I had requested them please let me talk [to my lawyers],” Goswami was heard saying in a video. “But they denied. I am telling everyone my life is at stake. My police custody was rejected. They tried to shift me at night only. Today morning they have dragged me. Everybody is seeing what is happening to me. They want to delay the process and keep me in jail. Please give me bail, I am appealing to the Supreme Court.”
The journalist was supposed to be moved to the jail after his quarantine period in a facility, but he was shifted earlier after allegedly being found using a mobile phone, reported The Times of India. “On Friday, late evening, we learnt that Goswami was active on social media, using somebody’s mobile phone,” Inspector Jamil Shaikh of Raigad Crime Branch told the newspaper. “We had seized his personal mobile when he was arrested from his Worli residence on Wednesday. As the investigating officer of the case, I wrote to the Alibaug jail superintendent seeking an inquiry report as to how he got access to a mobile to use in the quarantine centre.”
When he was being moved, the journalist alleged that his life was in danger. “...please tell the courts to help me.... When I wanted to speak to my lawyer, I was assaulted in jail by the jailer,” he screamed while being taken away in a police car.
Goswami and two other people – Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda – are alleged to have failed to pay money they owed to an interior designer named Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited. Naik and his mother were found dead in their home in Kavir village near Mumbai in 2018. A suicide note said that the Goswami, Shaikh and Sarda had not paid dues amounting to Rs 5.4 crore.
The Bombay High Court on Saturday reserved its order on his interim bail plea. The Republic TV anchor was arrested on Wednesday morning from his residence at Lower Parel in Mumbai and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Goswami had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging his “illegal arrest”. He sought immediate release and directions to quash the first information report filed against him in 2018.
Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah have voiced their support for Goswami and condemned the Maharashtra government for his arrest. On Sunday, the party’s leaders Tajinder Bagga and Kapil Mishra were detained for staging a demonstration, seeking the journalist’s release, according to The Indian Express. They held a protest near the Mahatma Gandhi memorial around 9 am.