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.
Congress and its allies have shamed democracy once again.
Blatant misuse of state power against Republic TV & Arnab Goswami is an attack on individual freedom and the 4th pillar of democracy.
It reminds us of the Emergency. This attack on free press must be and WILL BE OPPOSED.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 4, 2020
"We condemn the Congress, led by Sonia Gandhi & Rahul Gandhi, for its fascist and emergency mindset, which is on display in Maharashtra," said Javadekar.
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.@PIB_India @DDNewslive @republic
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) November 4, 2020
Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar said Arnab Goswami's arrest has 'Shades of the Emergency'.
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!
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) November 4, 2020
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan too slammed Maharashtra government over the physical assault and forceful arrest of Arnab.
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.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) November 4, 2020
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 ?
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 4, 2020
— OTV (@otvnews) November 4, 2020
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.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) November 4, 2020
This is what an undeclared emergency looks like, BJP National Vice President Baijayant Panda stated.
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.
— Baijayant Jay Panda (@PandaJay) November 4, 2020
Although emergency was defeated in 1977, the mentality is still alive- said former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Although emergency was defeated in 1977,the mentality is still alive!Today,supporters of emergency-Congress&Shivsena displaying the same undemocratic brutality to crush any voice of dissent.India has always fought such forces&struggle will continue.#EmergencyInMaharashtra#Arnab
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) November 4, 2020
Calling it a black day, the Republic Network has appealed to the countrymen to defend democracy.
— Republic (@republic) November 4, 2020