Koshyari expresses concern over Arnab's security, health
Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has conveyed to the state government his concern over the security and health of Arnab Goswami, managing director of Republic TV, who is in judicial custody in a suicide abetment case.
Koshyari, who had started his career as an RSS pracharak and sports the outfit’s black inverted-boat cap, phoned Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh and asked him to allow Goswami’s family to see him.
Goswami is a staunch defender of the Modi government’s repressive measures. Koshyari is known for the misadventure of swearing in BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis at 7.50am as chief minister and mocking current chief minister Uddhav Thackeray by asking if he had turned secular.
On Monday evening, Prashant Kanojia, a journalist and Dalit rights activist who had been arrested by Uttar Pradesh police on the charge of posting a morphed image, tweeted: “My family wasn’t allowed to meet. Neither my lawyers could meet me in jail. I am a Mumbaikar but @BSKoshyari never showed such concern for me.”
Kanojia added: “My SM (social media) inbox is full of threats. I am not afraid of those threats but worried about my family. Did Koshyariji ever speak about safety and security of my family? My own state governor failed to take (a) stand for me. Do I have to join BJP to be treated (as an) equal before law?”
Responding to a Republic TV statement that said Goswami would spend his sixth night in judicial custody on Monday, Kanojia said: “I spent 80 nights.”
Goswami and two others were arrested on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect and interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over an alleged failure by companies of the accused to clear their dues.
State government sources said relatives and lawyers are not allowed to meet those in custody because of Covid restrictions but can communicate over the phone.
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik said: “The way the governor has expressed concern for a special kaidi (inmate), Arnab, I think he (the governor) should understand that Arnab Goswami has been arrested for a serious offence.”
If the governor wanted to express concern, he should have done so for Anvay Naik’s family, Malik said, adding that they had been seeking justice for several months. “It is not right to take sides with an accused….”