New Delhi : In an important development following the unlawful and politically motivated arrest of Republic Media Network Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami, a public spirited lawyer named Siddharth Nayak, Managing Partner of New Delhi based legal firm Atharva Legal LLP, filed a complaint today on 04.11.2020 at 05:00 PM with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) vide diary number 19337/IN/2020 against Mumbai Police and Raigad Police for unjustly and illegally manhandling, assaulting and arresting Arnab Goswami from his residence in Mumbai. The complaint before NHRC was filed to initiate action against Mumbai Police and Raigad Police for this blatant and brazenly illegitimate action of arresting Goswami under Section 306 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code 1856 with regard to a suicide case registered and closed in 2018. The police alleges this arrest was made for abetting suicide.
To highlight the gravity of the situation the complaint drew attention to the manner in which the arrest was made, “At 07:45 AM today a battalion of Armed Police carrying assault rifles entered Mr. Goswami’s house and physically assaulted him. He was forcibly dragged by his hair into the police van before being arrested by Raigad Police in Maharashtra. The police forcibly shut off news cameras before barging into the residence of Mr Goswami and attacking and thrashing a reputed national TV news journalist. The police even went to levels of misbehaving with Goswami’s elderly parents, in-laws, and assaulting his son.”
According to the videos released by the family members of Arnab Goswami while the arrest was being made, permission for putting up a legal note on record was denied. No summons were served by the police before performing this illegitimate action. Goswami was denied all legal or medical assistance despite his injuries in the physical assault perpetrated by the Police. Goswami was dragged out of his residence like a hardened criminal without a shred of evidence against him, against utter disregard for his status and reputation as a member of society, citizenry and senior member of the Fourth Estate.
According to the family members of Arnab Goswami, Mumbai Police Officer Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Hindurao Vaze, an infamous ‘encounter specialist’ who holds the blighted disrepute of as many as 63 extra-judicial murders in addition to murder charges for the custodial death of Khwaja Yunus in 2003, led the open criminal intimidation and brazen assault on Goswami in shape of the illegal police action while issuing criminal threats saying, “You don’t know what I am capable of.”
API Sachin Vaze, suspended since the year 2007, was reinstated recently by a committee led by Mumbai Police Commissioner citing lack of police officers during the COVID19 pandemic. It is strange that within a few days of his reinstatement, an illegal and unlawful action of the police much similar to the modus operandi of Mr. Vaze takes place. In fact, three other policemen also accused in the same case, Rajendra Tiwari, Kajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai were reinstated via an executive order dated June 6, 2020 which revoked the suspension of 14 other policemen as well. Deputy Commissioner of Police and Mumbai police spokesperson Pranay Ashok confirmed that Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has revoked suspension of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze and police constables Rajendra Tiwari, Rajaram Nikam and Sunil Desai. API Waze was posted in Naigaon police headquarters. Despite Goswami’s repeated insistence and past history of co-operation with the law, Mumbai Police threw all due process, integrity and fairness in the wind by dragging Goswami by the collar to a crime branch unit where he was allegedly physically assaulted further.
Arnab Goswami was refused access to his legal team by the Raigad Police. ‘Encounter specialist’ and allegedly Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s right-hand man, Sachin Vaze, declared that he has been arrested on grave charges of Section 306 IPC. It is on record that Mumbai police had investigated and closed the false case lodged against Goswami back in 2018 in the said suicide case by stating in a court of law that no case was made out. As per news sources, Maharashtra Police DG did not approve with the CID Chief on Goswami’s arrest, therefore Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray and Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh met over the issue and SP Raigad was directly given orders from CM office for his arrest. Mumbai Police has been long known for their uniformed criminality. Earlier in April 2020, Anant Karmuse, a 40-year-old civil engineer in Mumbai was illegally taken by Mumbai Police personnel to NCP Minister Jitendra Awhad’s bungalow where the minister’s men thrashed him for posting a morphed photo over social media.
The attack on the Fourth Estate without any evidence or verifiable facts, on the basis of closed case being reopened with the sole aim to make an unwarranted illegitimate arrest of Goswami is extremely shocking to the point that it shakes India’s belief in good governance and policing.
The complaint has been filed with the NHRC and notice is yet to be issued.