Tripura Journalist Thrashed Over FB Post Against CM Biplab Deb
Tripura chief minister had said that he would not “forgive” the media for their alleged “confused” reportage.
A journalist with a Bengali daily in Tripura was thrashed by unknown people on Saturday, 12 September, allegedly for criticising Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb.
Biswas has recently recovered from coronavirus, which he contracted while on duty. Soon after his discharge from the hospital, he made a video criticising Tripura chief minister for allegedly threatening the journalists.
On Friday, 11 September, Deb criticised the media for publishing stories of alleged mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis by the BJP government, reported NDTV, stating he would not "forgive" the media for their "confused" reportage.
In response, Biswas in a Facebook post said, “I would like to warn the chief minister that he should not try to threaten the media. Today I am posting this. There will be many others in future”.
Sources told NDTV that Biswas was beaten up at his house in Ambassa, the headquarters of Dhalai district, which left him critically injured. He had to be hospitalised soon after.
“We have filed a case and are investigating the attack,” DGP (In-Charge) Rajiv Singh told NDTV.
Editor of Syandan Patrika, Biswas’ workplace stated that Biswas was attacked on the same day Biplab Deb threatened the journalists. The editor further stated that they suspect that the attack was carried out by BJP members.
Although BJP has denied allegations, Tripura BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee told NDTV, “We condemn the attack on the journalist. None of our party members is involved in this. Police have started an investigation. If any political party members are involved, the law will take its course.”
CPJ Condemns Deb’s Statements Against Media
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) issued a statement to say that the state should drop any legal threats against publications there, thoroughly investigate attacks on journalists, and guarantee press freedom in the state.
“CPJ is concerned by recent disparaging remarks against the Indian press made by Tripura state Chief Minister Biplab Deb, which were followed by violence and legal threats against journalists,” said CPJ senior Asia researcher Aliya Iftikhar.
“The Tripura government should reaffirm its commitment to press freedom, and should ensure that the legal threats are dropped, the attack on journalist Parashar Biswas is thoroughly investigated, and that the press can work freely.”
The Tripura Assembly of Journalists, an umbrella body of various journalists’ groups, also issued a statement reviewed by CPJ claiming that journalists have been threatened and attacked throughout the state following Deb’s comments.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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