A news anchor of Republic TV has written a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde urging him to take cognizance of shifting of Arnab Goswami to Taloja Jail to keep him allegedly with "hardened" and "underworld" criminals and provide "some sort of safety" to him. Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, and two others have been denied interim bail on Monday by Bombay High Court in a 2018 case of abetment of suicide of an interior designer.
The journalist, who was initially kept at a local school designated as COVID-19 centre for the Alibaug prison, was shifted to the Taloja jail in Raigad district on Sunday after allegedly being found using a mobile phone while in judicial custody.
Pradeep Bhandari, a consulting editor with the news channel, in his letter written on Sunday to the CJI alleged that Goswami has been shifted to jail on a "false pretext " and he would be kept in Taloja Jail with "hardened" and "underworld" criminals. He said Goswami has said that "his life is in danger and he has been beaten up in the morning " and urged the CJI to take cognizance of this matter and provide some sort of safety to him.
The letter said that Goswami has been "brutalized and tortured " for his views against the Maharashtra government. "In the morning (Sunday) I came to know in a surprise move that Maharashtra Government is shifting Arnab Goswami from Mumbai to Taloja Jail on false pretest without any reason which is a Jail full of hardened criminals and underworld criminals of Mumbai & Maharashtra," it said.
It is further alleged that Goswami has not been allowed to talk with his advocates or anybody en route and that he has somehow managed to say a few words to the few reporters regarding his life being in danger.
Bhandari said he has also written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to immediately take note of the incident and send a team "today itself" in Taloja Jail and initiate an independent enquiry so that there will be no further harm to Goswami andso that his safety and well being can be assured in Jail.
"I am praying for immediate action in this matter as it involves Human Rights Violation of the Country's one of the top journalist who is being harassed and tortured by the Maharashtra State for political reasons..," the letter said. G
oswami and the two others were arrested by Alibaug police on November 4 in connection with the suicide of architect-interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother in 2018 over alleged non-payment of dues by companies of the accused. The three were later taken to Alibaug and produced before a magistrate who refused their custody to police and remanded them in judicial custody till November 18. In his petition, Goswami alleged that he is being targeted and harassed by the Maharashtra government for his reportage on his news channel. Now, Goswami's regular bail plea would be heard by a lower court.