Republic TV’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami, who walked out of jail on Wednesday after being granted interim bail by the Supreme Court, lashed out at Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray government stating that its autocratic behaviour has been defeated.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted him and two other co-accused bail in the 2018 suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik. Goswami has termed his arrest by Mumbai Police on November 4 in connection with the case as illegal.

“The autocratic behaviour of Uddhav government has been defeated. He did everything to stop me… It was illegal arrest done by a government that doesn’t understand that it can’t push back independent media. If Uddhav Thackeray has a problem with my journalism, he should give me an interview. I challenge him to debate with me on issues I disagree with him.” Goswami told reporters here after he was released by Taloja jail.

“I want to ask Uddhav Thackeray what did he gain by this. He has taken my colleagues and put a black mask around their heads as if they were terrorists. Are we terrorists? Are journalists in this country terrorists? Do we not have the right to ask questions? Do we not have the right to disagree? We will ask questions and we will disagree. We know the people are with us,” he said.

A vacation bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, also comprising Justice Indira Banerjee of the Supreme Court ordered the release of Goswami and two other accused on interim bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 and directed the Commissioner of Police to ensure the order is followed immediately. The bench, which was hearing a petition filed by Goswami seeking bail and challenging the November 9 order of the Bombay High Court refusing relief, also directed Goswami and others to cooperate with the investigation in the case.

Goswami was arrested on November 4 in connection with the 2018 suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik and he and two others were sent to 14-day judicial custody by a lower court.

The suicide case, in which a closure report was filed in 2019, was reopened after Naik’s wife Akshata approached a court. In September this year, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had ordered a re-investigation into the case after a fresh complaint by Naik’s daughter.