Arnab Goswami’s arrest sparks outrage from Modi government

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Arnab Goswami's arrest

A controversial Indian TV news anchor known for inflammatory right-wing rhetoric was arrested Wednesday, prompting outrage from Hindu nationalist government ministers.

Arnab Goswami‘s arrest came in connection with the suicide of a designer who worked on his channel’s offices.

Goswami is a popular but polarizing figure in the country’s competitive news market. He is a vociferous supporter of the BJP and its Hindutva policies and that’s why his arrest sparked an outage from Modi government.

The arrest of Godi Media icon was broadcast live on Republic TV, the channel he co-founded. The channel has been accused in the past of illegally rigging ratings by bribing people to watch the channel.


Why Goswami Was Arrested?

Mumbai police official Sudhir Anandrao Taware said that Arnab Goswami’s arrest was in connection with a suicide case from 2018.

Indian media said it concerned the death of an interior designer who had worked on a project for Goswami before apparently taking his own life.

A suicide note blamed the anchor and two others for not paying fees of 54 million rupees ($723,000).

Goswami’s arrest in Maharashtra state, which is ruled by a coalition of parties opposed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), triggered outrage among government ministers.

When Mumbai police officials arrived at the journalist’s office, he shouted at them and wrestled with them to resist his arrest.

Reaction From Hindutva Leaders

“The arrest of Arnab Goswami is an attack on the freedom of the press,” Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter.

“This is not the way to treat the press,” Information Minister Prakash Javadekar tweeted.

The BJP, however, has long been accused of harassing the media, and journalists have been arrested and jailed in several states ruled by the party.

Scores of BJP supporters protested against Goswami’s arrest in Mumbai, carrying placards emblazoned with the slogan #EmergencyInMaharashtra.

Goswami’s most recent drumbeat has been the suicide of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput.

The anchor has suggested Rajput’s girlfriend — actress Rhea Chakraborty — drove him to his death with a combination of black magic and drugs.

The tabloid-style campaign has been widely criticized by more measured media organizations and analysts.

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