Devbrat Patnaik

New Delhi/ Bhubaneswar: Union Ministers and senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party strongly condemned the assault on Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and the subsequent arrest, and have cited the behaviour of the Maharashtra government and police as an attack on the freedom of Press, the fourth pillar of democracy.

This morning, police barged into his residence, physically assaulted him and then reportedly dragged him out of his home in a police van. The cops heckled Arnab, and allegedly beat his son too, sources said. Reports claim that Maharashtra Police’s Raigad unit raided Arnab's home in connection with the abetment to a suicide case of 2018, which had been closed earlier and has now been reopened.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javdekar pointed out that this incident has reminded the country of the days during the Emergency.

"We condemn the Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi, for its fascist and emergency mindset, which is on display in Maharashtra," said Javadekar.

Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar said Arnab Goswami's arrest has 'Shades of the Emergency'.

Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan too slammed Maharashtra government over the physical assault and forceful arrest of Arnab.

This is what an undeclared emergency looks like, BJP National Vice President Baijayant Panda stated.

Although emergency was defeated in 1977, the mentality is still alive- said former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

Calling it a black day, the Republic Network has appealed to the countrymen to defend democracy.