In its editorial this morning, the Hindu described the arrest of Republic chief Arnab Goswami as "a high-handed action that may contain an element of vendetta".
The newspaper followed in the footsteps of the Times of India, Hindustan Times, and the Indian Express, which all carried editorials on Goswami yesterday. The Mumbai police arrested Goswami from his home on November 4 for allegedly abetting the suicide of an interior designer in 2018. The case had been formally closed in 2019 but was reopened earlier this year. He was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
The Hindu said that while there might be "sufficient cause" for the 2018 case to be "investigated afresh", "there is no reason to arrest anyone, unless they are likely to evade trial, threaten witnesses or destroy evidence." It noted that Goswami is an "outspoken critic of the Maharashtra government".
The newspaper also emphasised that there is "no substance" in allegations that Goswami's arrest is an attempt to "throttle to media", "as it is obviously a case unrelated to his work as a television anchor".
The manner of Goswami's arrest, the Hindu continued, "might have a chilling effect on other journalists with better credentials than Mr Goswami...Mr Goswami, as part of his nightly fulminations against assorted enemies of the state, is known to demand the arrest of anyone he denounces — including many who may be innocent — and has been accused of hate-mongering in the name of journalism. However, he should not be held to his own low standards."
Yesterday, the Bombay High Court refused to grant interim relief in a habeus corpus petition filed by Goswami. The petition had sought his immediate relief and the quashing of the FIR against him. The court said it could not pass an interim order without hearing the complainant and the state. The petition will be heard later today.
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