India’s most controversial TV anchor, known for aggressively backing Prime Minister Narendra Modi was arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of an architect on Wednesday.
Arnab Goswami, 47, the founder of right-wing broadcaster Republic TV, was arrested at his home in Mumbai in the western Indian state of Maharashtra for his alleged role in the death of Anvay Naik, who died by suicide in 2018.
Under the Indian penal court the crime carries a possible 10 year prison sentence in India. Goswami and two others were remanded to judicial custody, according to a court order.
Akshata Naik, the wife of the deceased architect alleged that Goswami aided Naik’s suicide by failing to pay Naik for designing his television studio. Naik’s suicide note claimed that Goswami and two other people owed him over INR₹ 53 million.
But Goswami and Republic TV deny those allegations.
According to Goswami’s statement, police previously investigated him for his alleged role in the suicide, but the case was closed in April last year after police found “no proof of any illegality.”
According to a court order, investigations resumed after a fresh complaint from Naik’s wife.
In the state of Maharashtra the elected state government controls the police. Naik died in 2018, when Maharashtra was governed by Modi’s BJP.
But in last year’s legislative assembly elections, Maharashtra voted against Modi’s BJP, instead installing a more liberal coalition government of Shiv Sena, Indian Congress, and the Nationalist Congress Party.
It has been alleged that the state police was forced to muffle up the case against Goswami in 2018 because of his close association with the prime minister.
Soon after Goswami’s arrest there was an outburst from senior figures within Modi’s BJP. However, the prime minister Modi is yet to make a comment.