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Vandalism in media offices: Journalists stage protest, probe moved to Crime Branch

The newspaper and TV channel offices were ransacked when a few CPIM party offices in different districts were being attacked on Wednesday.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: September 9, 2021 7:34:23 pm
Members of local media rights body speak to media after meeting Tripura Police IG Arindam Nath in Agartala on Thursday. (Express photo:Debraj Deb)

A day after two newspaper offices and two local TV channel offices were ransacked during clashes between BJP and CPI-M activists, journalists staged a protest in front of the Tripura Police headquarters on Thursday demanding action against the culprits.

The newspaper and TV channel offices were ransacked when a few CPIM party offices in different districts were being attacked on Wednesday.

The clashes between BJP and CPIM activists in three districts left at least ten injured, two party offices gutted, many others ransacked and six vehicles set ablaze on the day.

In the course of these protests, the offices of Daily Desher Katha, which is CPIM”s mouthpiece in Tripura, Pratibadi Kalam, a local Bengali morning daily and PB 24, a local cable TV channel and Duranta TV, a local TV channel at Udaipur of Gomati district, came under attack.

Members of local media rights body speak to media after meeting Tripura Police IG Arindam Nath in Agartala on Thursday. (Express photo:Debraj Deb)

Sebak Bhattacharya, convener of Forum for Development and Protection of Media Community, a local media rights body, said in a statement that three journalists with Pratibadi Kalam newspaper and PB 24 news channel sustained injuries in the attack. Journalist Prasenjit Saha received head trauma and later underwent multiple stitches.

The media body has demanded strict punishment of those involved in the attack and security of mediapersons.

Following the protest, a joint journalist delegation met Inspector General (Law and Order) Arindam Nath demanding strict action against the culprits.

“The editor of Pratibadi Kalam submitted a formal complaint earlier saying the attacks on his media house were perpetrated in the presence of a police station officer in-charge. The police have decided to shift the probe in the case to the Crime Branch and they will do the needful at the earliest,” Agartala Press Club secretary Pranab Sarkar said.

IG Arindam Nath told the media delegation that since the police officer in-charge was accused of inaction in this case, the investigation was shifted to the Crime Branch.

However, since the other media offices didn’t put forth any such complaint, the probe would be conducted by police officials.

A Crime Branch team visited the newspaper offices which came under attack later this evening and inspected the situation.


“No police visited the attacked media offices since yesterday. So, we demanded that they visit the attacked offices. The officials have agreed to visit the offices, estimate the losses sustained in the process and take necessary action,” Shanit Debroy, secretary of Assembly of Journalists, another media rights body, said after visiting the Inspector General earlier in the afternoon.

Jayanta Bhattacharya, a veteran journalist of the state, said officials assured them to identify those who attacked the media offices based on footage available from the attacks and take action against them.

Meanwhile, scattered incidents of violence left two local CPIM party offices damaged at Dharmanagar in North Tripura district and Gandhigram of West Tripura. An official of the state police informed this evening the reports of vandalism on party offices were received from missiontilla area of Dharmanagar and Gandhigram this afternoon. No complaints were booked till latest reports came in.

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