Explainer: The case that led to Arnab Goswami’s arrest

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Police arrested journalist and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami at his Alibaug residence in the early hours of Wednesday. His arrest was in connection with the death of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik in Alibaug in 2018.

Republic TV in its report claimed that Goswami was “assaulted and dragged” during the arrest. Goswami alleged that Mumbai Police also physically assaulted his mother-in-law, father-in-law, son and wife.

Abetment to the suicide of Anvay Naik and his mother

In May 2018, 53-year-old interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik were found dead at their Alibaug bungalow. The police said Anvay had committed suicide and the post mortem report of Kumud indicated that she had been strangulated. Police believe Anvay killed her before committing suicide. While Kumud’s body was found on the ground floor, Anvay was found hanging on the first floor by the caretaker of the bungalow.

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Following that, the police registered an accidental death report and a case of murder. In the investigation, the police found a suicide note purportedly written by the interior designer that he decided to take the extreme step on account of non-payment of dues by the owners of three companies – television journalist Arnab Goswami of Republic TV, Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia, and Niteish Sarda of Smartworks.

The Raigadh police booked a First Information Report (FIR) against all of them. The three accused reportedly owed him Rs 5.4 crore and had refused to pay it back, forcing him to take the extreme step.

The police, however, closed the case in April 2019 saying that they did not find evidence against the accused named in the suicide note, including Goswami.

Resumption of investigation

In May this year, the Maharashtra government ordered a fresh investigation into the case against Goswami and two others by the state Criminal Investigation Department.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a tweet had said that a fresh probe was ordered after Naik’s daughter Adnya approached him regarding the case. “Adnya Naik had complained to me that Alibaug Police had not investigated non-payment of dues from Arnab Goswami’s Republic, which drove her entrepreneur father and grandmom to suicide in May 2018,” he tweeted. “I’ve ordered a CID re-investigation of the case,” he added.

While Republic TV denied all the charges against its Editor-in-Chief, the family of Anvay Naik on Wednesday expressed gratitude to the Maharashtra police.

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