New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday targetted Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the arrest of Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra Police.
While coming in support of Goswami, the BJP said that in 'our democratic setup, independent media is a pillar but now it is being bullied'.
BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda said, "Every person who believes in a free press and freedom of expression is furious at the Maharashtra Government's bullying and harassment of Arnab Goswami. This is yet another instance of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi-directed antic of silencing those who disagree with them. Shameful!"
While Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said, "This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this."
The most critical was Union Minister for Textile Smriti Irani. She tweeted: "Those in the free press who don't stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?"she said
Continuing with the attack on the Congress, BJP's national vice president, Baijayant Jay Panda said, "Disconcerting scenes of Republic tv editor Arnab Goswami manhandled by Mumbai police carrying assault weapons. Unending harrassment by Maharastra govt of one channel: "We wd've come voluntarily if summoned, as we have been doing." THIS is what an undeclared emergency looks like (sic)."
The BJP's Bihar unit also condemned Goswami's arrest by the Maharashtra police. Sanjay Jaiswal, state BJP chief said the Congress and Shiv Sena do not believe in democracy and freedom of speech. They are in animosity with him and they can go to any level.
"Journalists are the fourth pillar of democracy. Can Rahul Gandhi do a candle march on this? Rahul Gandhi had supported Arnab in the past. Arnab's arrest is a direct attack on the democratic structures of the country. The Congress and Shiv Sena advocate the 'Tukde-Tukde' gang and they believe in such an ideology.
"This incident has reminded me of the 15-year rule of the RJD in Bihar. Compared to the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress rule in Maharashtra, the RJD tenure from 1990 to 2005 was more horrifying for the people of Bihar. I want to ask the Shiv Sena, NCP and the Congress to clarify whether they are walking on the same path?" Jaiswal said.
The Maharashtra Police's Raigad unit on Wednesday morning raided the residence of Republic TV owner and arrested its Chief Editor Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.
A senior police officer Sachin Vaze said that Goswami was arrested in the abetment to suicide case of 2018, which had been closed earlier and has now been reopened.
A police team swooped on the Republic TV's chief and picked him up from his home even as his family protested while his colleagues started rushing to the spot for live coverage.
The channel strongly slammed the move for "parading the editor of a top Indian news channel like a criminal, pulled by the hair, threatened, not allowed to drink water" after 20-30 policemen barged there.