MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government defended itself against charges of political vendetta in the arrest of Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in a suicide abetment case from 2018. State home minister Anil Deshmukh said, “Nobody is above the law and Maharashtra police will take appropriate action as per the law.”
Deshmukh had ordered a fresh probe into the suicides of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother after he was approached by Naik’s daughter. Naik allegedly named Goswami and two others in a suicide note, blaming them for non-payment of dues and his financial woes. The case had been closed for lack of evidence but Alibaug police moved a local court for permission to re-investigate.
“Why is BJP behaving like Arnab Goswami is a BJP worker? It looks like their par rot has been put in a cage. Why are they defending a man who has been accused in a suicide case?” asked transport minister Anil Parab. Parab said the arrest had nothing to do with clamping down on media freedom and could not be compared to arrests during the Emergency.
The previous government had failed to act on Anvay Naik’s suicide note, Parab alleged. “The family went to court. The court gave directions to the police to investigate and the police is doing its job,” he said. Parab also pointed out that the victim was a Maharashtrian. “If action is being taken in a case where a Marathi woman became a widow, why is BJP opposing it?” he asked. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said, “The government has nothing to do with it. If we break the law, police will not spare us either. Police can’t be accused of acting out of vengeance.”