On Twitter, several people connected with a social media post of a political party showing Arnab hung upside down and thrashed by the Mumbai police, who had accompanied the Alibaug police team. What added fuel to the fire was Goswami’s and Republic TV’s charge that he was assaulted and manhandled by police. However, the picture which was circulated turned out to be incorrect. So did Goswami’s allegation of being ill-treated by cops.
Read a more detailed account on fake images here
A Mumbai police video, which starts with a police team trying to enter Goswami’s house and ends with him being taken into custody, shows the high drama that took place on Wednesday morning and puts a question mark on his allegations of police brutality.
07:48Watch: Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami arrested in Mumbai
This is probably the first time that a police team has faced so much resistance in arresting an accused who isn’t a hardened criminal. The police, it seems, were prepared for what transpired. The FIR registered against Goswami, his wife, their son and two unknown people at NM Joshi Marg police station, for preventing public servants from performing their duty, mentions that a police naik from the Raigad police had been instructed to record the proceedings right from the start.
The police team from Raigad (the district in which Alibaug is situated), headed by deputy superintendent Pravin Patil, reached Goswami’s house around 7 am but managed to enter it only an hour later as those inside refused to open the door after the policemen identified themselves.
The video shows that the moment Goswami opened the door and Patil asked him to come out, he started shutting the door on them. That is when Patil tried to catch hold of Goswami, which he and his wife repeatedly called a “physical assault”. One officer could be heard saying the team was there in a “legal capacity” and the process could not be done inside the house.
Possibly because of her experience in the media, Goswami’s wife then started recording a video on her mobile phone too. Goswami could be heard asking the police team to “maintain social distancing”. While Patil tried explaining to him that he was being arrested over a case registered at Alibaug police station, a uniformed woman officer asked Goswami’s wife to acknowledge the arrest in writing.
Patil repeatedly, and politely, identified himself and asked him if he was ready to cooperate with the police, saying he was being arrested and would be taken to Alibaug. Goswami, however, continued shouting “They have physically assaulted me,” which his wife repeated. He then asked the police team to wait outside. At one point, Goswami could be heard raising his voice at the police team, saying that he is the editor-in-chief of Republic TV and that the police team can’t physically assault him in his own house.
Simultaneously, the woman officer was seen asking Goswami’s wife to sign the arrest document, but he yelled and asked her to not sign any papers, saying the police was “forcing her to sign documents”. He and his wife shouted the word “live” and “everything is live” numerous times during the process. At one point, his wife could be heard saying that they don’t even know if the officers were legitimate.
A few minutes later, Assistant Inspector Sachin Waze of the Mumbai Police Crime Intelligence Unit walked in and requested Goswami to co-operate. Goswami in response claimed Waze assaulted him too, though he wasn’t there all this while. After repeatedly asking him to cooperate and accompany them, the police finally managed to take him into custody after 13 minutes.
Goswami, his wife, son and two unknown persons have been booked for this episode under Sections 353 (preventing public servants from performing duty), 504 (intentionally insulting someone) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.