Condemning the attack on Republic Media Network Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and his wife - Republic TV Editor Samyabrata Ray Goswami - on Wednesday night, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu appealed the Maharashtra government and police to intervene in the matter and take action against the preparators.
Speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Naidu stated that in a democracy, media should have the freedom to express and further urged the Maharashtra police and government to file cases against the attackers.
"I strongly condemn the attack. It is very unfortunate. People should not attack media person. This is unethical. In a democracy, the media should have the freedom to express," said Naidu.
"It is not correct. They can belong to any political party for that matter. Govt has to bookcases against them. Govt should not dilute this kind of attack I appeal to the police and Maharashtra government to deal with this firmly, then only others will have fear," he added.
Strongly condemn the attack on senior journalist Arnab Goswami. I urge all to refrain from resorting to violence and unnecessarily targeting journalists.#ArnabGoswamiAttacked #ArnabAttacked#ArnabGoswami @republic— N Chandrababu Naidu #StayHomeSaveLives (@ncbn) April 23, 2020
The attack took place barely 500 metres away from Arnab's house as he and Samyabrata Ray were driving back following his show, with Arnab driving their Toyota Corolla. Masked goons on a bike overtook and blocked Arnab's car and proceeded to hurl bottles along with abuses after taking a good hard look to identify him in the front seat.
Arnab's security caught the attackers, who are now in the custody of the Mumbai police and are being questioned. They confessed to Arnab's Mumbai police attache who is an undersigned in the complaint that they had been sent by party higher-ups to teach Arnab a lesson. This comes after Arnab had questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi in his debate mere hours earlier.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered several hours after the complaint was filed. It has been registered at the NM Joshi Marg Police station under sec 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 3, Mumbai. The charges are severely watered down.