Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, two others arrested in abetment to suicide case

Architect Anvay Naik had named Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami in his suicide note in 2018

November 04, 2020 09:43 am | Updated 09:56 pm IST - Navi Mumbai

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami sits inside a police vehicle after he was produced in a court following his arrest in Mumbai on November 4, 2020.

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami sits inside a police vehicle after he was produced in a court following his arrest in Mumbai on November 4, 2020.

Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday arrested by the Local Crime Branch (LCB) of the Raigad police in an abetment to suicide case . Two other accused, Feroz Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda, have also been arrested.

Also read: Union Ministers come out in support of Arnab Goswami after his arrest

Interior designer Anvay Naik, who was found dead at the first floor of his farmhouse at Kavir Village in Alibaug on May 5, 2018, left an alleged suicide note accusing Mr. Goswami, Mr. Shaikh of icastX/Skimedia and Mr. Sarda of Smartworks of not paying dues amounting to ₹5.40 crore for his interior design work, due to which his firm, Concorde Designs Private Limited, suffered severe losses.

Naik’s mother was also found dead on the bed on the ground floor of the farmhouse.

While Mr Goswami was arrested from Worli, Mr. Shaikh was arrested from Kandivali and Mr. Sarda from Jogeshwari.

The note says that Mr. Goswami owed him ₹83 lakh for the Bombay Dyeing studio project, Mr. Shaikh ₹ 4 crore in Laxmi, 3rd and 4th floor idea square project in Andheri, and Mr. Sarda ₹55 lakh for the Magarpatta and Baner projects.

Post-mortem reports revealed that Naik himself ended his life. His mother, Kumud, had been strangulated and a murder case too was registered by the police in the case.

Also read: Arnab refused to pay ₹83 lakh to interior designer, says family

Daughter meets DIG

The case that was given a closure report was reopened after Naik’s daughter met the DIG and produced more evidence. The DIG initiated an enquiry against police inspector Suresh Warade, who had handled the case, for closing it ‘without investigating thoroughly’.

“After reopening the case, it was transferred to the LCB. We then investigated and found more evidence. Mr. Goswami had attempted to transfer money into Naik’s account after his death, but the bank rejected it as the account holder was not alive. This showed that he actually owed the money,” Inspector Jamil Shaikh of the LCB said.

When asked if Mr. Goswami was issued any summons, Mr. Shaikh confirmed that he was booked under Section 306 of the IPC, which was a serious offence and did not need summons.

The LCB followed the protocol for the arrest and gave a letter to Mr. Goswami’s wife informing her of the arrest, which she had to sign. She instead tore it. “We immediately conveyed this to our superiors,” Mr. Shaikh said. Mr. Goswami had been taken to Raigad.

Alleged assault

Advocate Gaurav Parkar, for Mr. Goswami, alleged that the journalist was assaulted at the time of his arrest, causing abrasions on his back as he was pulled by his belt, and on his hand as well.

Mr. Parkar alleged that Mr. Goswami’s wife was never informed about the arrest. “The previous case was closed and he has been arrested after reinvestigation of the case. We are yet to get all the papers,” he said.

Police said there was no assault, but Mr. Goswami resisted arrest and they had to use force.

At the time of taking him to the Alibaug court, he was heard shouting, “Uddhav Thackeray can do nothing to me. The Maharashtra police can do nothing to me.”

Advocate for the complainant, Vilas Naik, said, “In the suicide case, the victim left a suicide note and the name of the accused was clearly mentioned in it. The deceased victim’s wife had submitted a police complaint, but the accused was not arrested. Fortunately, in the last few days, the Raigad police and Maharashtra police made progress in the investigation. Based on the evidence, he has been arrested.”

He said whether Mr. Goswami abetted the suicide was part of the police investigation. “He will be produced in the court within 24 hours of his arrest. We will give all the required support to the prosecution and the police investigation from the side of the victim’s wife,” he added.

Those who require assistance for overcoming suicidal thoughts may contact BMC mental health helpline 022-24131212 (24x7); Vandrevala Foundation: 18602662345/ 18002333330 (24x7); I Call: 022-25521111 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday); The Samaritans Mumbai: 8422984528/ 8422984529/ 8422984530 (3 p.m.- 9 p.m. all days).

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