Opposition and activists lambast BJP and union ministers for yelling at Goswami’s arrest  

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Those who are claiming or suggesting that Arnab Goswami is a journalist are actively spreading misinformation.

By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi: Opposition parties, activists and twitterati on Wednesday blasted ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including Union ministers for their outrage at Republic TV owner Arnab Goswami’s arrest in the abetment of suicide case by the Maharashtra police. They said they were shocked with the selective outrage of the BJP as in the last few months as many as eight journalists were arrested but the ruling party did not utter a single word of condemnation.

Main opposition Congress said the BJP leaders have no moral right to raise eyebrows over Goswami’s arrest and called it sheer hipocracy.

Congress spokesperson, Supriya Shrinate said she was actually very shocked with the selective outrage of the BJP and some union ministers.

 Responding to media persons questions at the briefing, she asked why BJP people were silent when journalists arrested by their state governments.

“Why are they (BJP) silent when Pawan Jaiswal is jailed for a number of months just because he exposed a scam where children were being served salt and chapati in Mirzapur? Why are they selectively silent when sedition charges are slapped against journalist Prashant Kanojia? Why are they selectively silent when a case has been filed against Supriya Sharma because she exposed the pathetic state of affairs in a village in Varanasi? Why are they selectively silent when the reporter Manish Pandey who exposed the PPE kit scam in UP, is jailed and faces serious sedition charges instead of action being taken against those responsible for the PPE scam?”

She said it is shameful and they should be ashamed of saying anything. Shrinate, who herself is a journalist, said Goswami brought complete disgrace and complete shame to journalism.

“I have been a journalist for almost two decades and I feel ashamed of the fact that the said individual has brought complete disgrace and complete shame to journalism. What he does in the garb of journalism, he is not journalism. What he does in the garb of journalism is the work of a BJP frontal. To accuse people, to hurl abuses, to make any sort of allegations, to use the language that he does, is he a judge or jury? What sort of journalism he is doing in the garb of running a TV channel”.

She also attacked BJP for saying the Maharashtra government has abused its power and clamped down on freedom of expression.

“The BJP should be the last person talking on the freedom of press. The way they control the media, through advertisements, the way they are trying to control the media through intimidation and fear. The way they try and control the media is absolutely shameful,” she added.

“Those who are claiming or suggesting that Arnab Goswami is a journalist are actively spreading misinformation” tweeted Pratik Sinha , the editor of Alt News.

 

Echoing similar sentiments, noted  advocate and Social Democratic Party of India leader,  Sharfuddin Ahmad  highlighted that  the arrest of  journalists  including Siddique Kappan, Kishore chandra Wangkhem, Prashant Kanojia, Rajib Sarma, Dhaval Patel, Naresh Khohal, Rahul Kulkarni, Rajeev Sharma,  and Tsewang Rigzin in the last few months.

  He deplored that they haven’t got the same solidarity from the BJP leaders and union ministers as  Go swami has who has emerged as a  ‘wild frank’ of Indian journalism.

 Ahmad also underlined that the list of journalists having FIRs against them or have been summoned by the police in BJP ruled states would have been even longer.

Activists and intellectuals also questioned the BJP’s yelling on Goswami’s arrest.

Noted rights defender and senior Supreme Court advocate, Prashant Bhushan said BJP leaders said nothing when BJP governments arrested dozens of journalists.

In a Tweet Bhushan said “The way in which the Union ministers have come out against ArnabGoswami’s arrest by Mumbai police is touching, especially their calling it an emergency. They said nothing when BJP govts arrested dozens of journalists. Also when their NIA/CBI/ED/Police harasses & arrests activists.”

 Twitterati also ran a solidarity campaign on twitter under the hashtag #JusticeForAnvayNaik, lambasting Goswami’ and BJP.

Pankaj Saraf tweeted that BJP never spoke in favour of journalists before Goswami’s arrest. His tweet read:

“You never spoke in favor of journalists before. Here is the list of the 9 journalists jailed for speaking against govt Arnab is not jailed for speaking against govt. He is arrested for the case of abetment of suiside.”

Another twitterati, Amar called Goswami the most idiotic, mindless journalist.

“When India is in Economic and Employment crisis News Media didn’t debate about it. Now most idiotic, mindless journalist arrested whose News Channel is just trash declared #BlackDay4Press

This is hypocrisy #ArnabGoswami has to be punished for what he has done.”

Arshad Hussain tweeted that “The same govt who has detained Sanjeev bhatt since last two years is now calling the arrest of Arnab as an act of emergency.

When Irony died its own death.”

 Ashish Dua

“Fascists are shedding crocodile tears & shedding scales of even leftover shame.Nation knows who doesn’t want #JusticeForAnvayNaik & those are ones who’ve mistreated many righteous journalits, Daughters & victims of atrocities, retired IPS officers, our braves, veterans, and farmers.”

Nirbhaya

“What has this got to do with journalism? Are journalists above the law? There was a suicide note; ARNAB’s name was on it.

In SSR case there was no suicide note, STILL Arnab was yelling from the rooftops that Rhea is a murderer.

No diff rules for diff people.”

Hansraj Meena@HansrajMeena asked the BJP for its silence on justice to AnvayNaik.

“Why BJP silent on #JusticeForAnvayNaik? In my opinion Anvay Naik is a common man & the alleged killer of that man is a well known propagandist of BJP. #WellDoneMumbaiPolice”

 On tweetrati Sudhir Suryawanshi@ss_suryawanshi

 Said Goswami allegedly assaulted a lady police officer when police team reached at his residence in Mumbai

“More trouble for Arnab Goswami. The FIR registered against Mr Goswami under section 353 IPC for obstructing the police officer from doing their work. He also allegedly assaulted a lady police officer when police team reached at his residence in Mumbai. @NewIndianXpress”

ANI quoted Akshita Naik, wife of 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik as saying “I really want to thank Maharashtra police that this day has come in my life. I kept a lot of patience. Although my husband and mother-in-law will not come back with this but they are still alive for me.”

The Maharashtra Police on Wednesday arrested Goswami for allegedly abetting the suicide of Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik in 2018.

This case has no links to the cases Goswami faces in connection with Mumbai police. Goswami’s Republic TV has been named in the TRP scam where the channel along with five others was allegedly involved in making payments for boosting TRP’s.

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