NEW DELHI: Law Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday described the arrest of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami as "seriously reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome".
He also questioned the silence of the Congress leadership when its government in Maharashtra was "blatantly suppressing freedom of press". Police on Wednesday arrested Goswami in Mumbai for allegedly abetting suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer, a police official said.
"The arrest of senior journalist Arnab Goswami is seriously reprehensible, unwarranted and worrisome. We had fought for freedoms of Press as well while opposing the draconian Emergency of 1975," Prasad said in a series of tweets.
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
He said that while Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have attacked the Modi government "through motivated charges of attack on institutions" yet they are completely silent when their own government in Maharashtra is "blatantly suppressing freedom of Press".
He claimed it to be a "textbook case of hypocrisy". "One can differ, one can debate and one can ask questions too. However arresting a journalist of the stature of Arnab Goswami by abuse of police power, because he was asking questions, is something which we all need to condemn," the Union minister said.
The ruling alliance in Maharashtra comprises the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.