New Delhi [India], November 4 (ANI): Union Ministers including Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal condemned the Mumbai Police's action against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on Wednesday and lashed out at the Maharashtra government.
The ministers took to Twitter to share their views on the journalist's arrest.
While condemning action against Goswami, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said "we condemn the Congress for its fascist and emergency mindset".
"We condemn the #Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi, for its fascist and emergency mindset, which is on display in #Maharashtra," Javadekar tweeted.
"We condemn the attack on press freedom in #Maharashtra. This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this," he said in another tweet.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said Goswami's assault is an example of misuse of power.
"Strongly condemn this attack on freedom of press in Maharashtra. This fascist move is a sign of undeclared emergency. Assaulting journalist #ArnabGoswami is an example of misuse of power. We must all stand up against this attack on India's democracy," Goyal tweeted.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Goswami's arrest is seriously reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome.
"The arrest of senior journalist #ArnabGoswami is seriously reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome. We had fought for freedoms of Press as well while opposing the draconian Emergency of 1975," he tweeted.
The minister said Sonia and Rahul are completely silent over "blantant" suppression of press freedom.
"Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have openly attacked Narendra Modi Govt through motivated charges of attack on institutions yet they are completely silent when their own Govt in Maharashtra is blatantly suppressing freedom of Press. Textbook case of hypocrisy!" Prasad tweeted.
"One can differ, one can debate and one can ask questions too. However, arresting a journalist of the stature of #ArnabGoswami by abuse of Police power, because he was asking questions, is something which we all need to condemn," he said in another tweet.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said this is fascist intolerance towards freedom of expression.
"How can you false arrest someone just because you don't like him? Remember, Indians will fight back against this kind of draconian act. I condemn the forceful arrest of Journalist #ArnabGoswami. This is fascist intolerance towards freedom of expression," he tweeted.
Condemning Goswami's arrest, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said those who really believe in this freedom must speak up.
"Shades of the Emergency! The arrest of Arnab Goswami is an attack on the freedom of press. Those who really believe in this freedom must speak up!" he tweeted.
MoS Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said the immediate thing that the Maharashtra government can do to vindicate the freedom of press is to release him immediately.
"Are we returning to an age of facism and dictatorship in the garb of democracy. Vendetta politics exceeding all limits. Absolutely no ground to arrest #ArnabGoswami. Minimum that the Maharashtra Govt can do to vindicate the freedom of press is to release him immediately," Singh tweeted.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Maharashtra government's this "act of vengeance" is against the freedom of press and highly condemnable.
"Shameful how Mumbai Police have picked up Republic TV Editor #ArnabGoswami from his residence. Maharashtra Govt's this act of vengeance is against the freedom of press and highly condemnable," Joshi tweeted.
Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said believers of press freedom must come together to fight back this "fascism".
"Inspired by the Congress's dark days of emergency when freedom of the #Press was at its nadir, the #maharashtragovt actions against #arnab_goswami are highly deplorable! Believers of #PressFreedom must come together to fight back this fascism," Vardhan tweeted.
The journalist has been arrested in the death case of interior designer Anvay Naik, who allegedly died by suicide in Alibaug in May 2018. A suicide note purportedly written by Naik alleged that Goswami had not paid him his dues. Later, Goswami was also named in the FIR of Naik's death case.
A closure report was filed in the case in 2019, but the case was re-opened after Naik's wife Akshata approached the court. In September this year, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had ordered re-investigation in the case after a fresh complaint by Naik's daughter Adnya Naik.
"Adnya Naik had complained to me that #AlibaugPolice had not investigated non-payment of dues from #ArnabGoswami's Republic which drove her entrepreneur father & grandmom to suicide in May 2018. I've ordered a CID re-investigation of the case," Deshmukh had tweeted. (ANI)