The Alibaug Police have booked Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, and two others identified as Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sarda, owners of two different firms for allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer and his mother.
A suicide note left behind by the deceased Anvay Naik, managing director of Concorde Designs Private Limited, states that he was forced to commit suicide as he was not paid his dues collectively amounting to Rs 5.40 crore by the three.
Naik and his mother were found dead at their farmhouse in Kavir village of Alibaug taluka, on Saturday around 8.30 am. Naik was found hanging from the ceiling on the first floor and his mother’s body was found on the ground floor on the bed. A police complaint was lodged by the victim's wife Akshata Naik, 48, who was at their Mumbai residence when the alleged suicide incident occurred.
As per the FIR, Arnab Goswami of ARG Outlier of Republic TV has allegedly not paid dues of Rs 83 lakh for the Bombay Dyeing Studio Project, while Feroz Shaikh of IcastX/Skimedia has allegedly not paid Rs 4 crore for his project at Andheri and Niteish Sarda, owner of Smart work, has allegedly not paid Rs 55 lakh for his projects at Magarpatta and Baner.
Raigad district superintendent of police Anil Paraskar said, “The suicide note by Naik mentions the names of Arnab Goswami, Feroz Shaikh and Niteish Sharda who have been held responsible for the suicide.”
A statement released by Republic TV editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy says, “Certain vested interest groups are running a false and malicious campaign and making false statements and innuendos against Republic TV by exploiting a tragic event involving the unfortunate demise of Anvay Naik. All amounts due and payable under the contract were paid by Republic TV to Concorde Designs. All such details and evidence will be given to the appropriate authorities as and when required.”
The two others mentioned in the FIR could not be reached for a comment.
In May last year, Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd had lodged a complaint with Mumbai police against Arnab Goswami and Prema Sridevi of Republic TV on grounds of theft, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of the intellectual property rights of the BCCL-owned Times Now channel.
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