A day after Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s comments on what he termed “some over-excited media”, journalists bodies in the state have given the CM three days to withdraw his comments.
Different journalist bodies Sunday came together at Agartala under the umbrella of Tripura Assembly of Journalists, a media rights body, and said they “condemn these anti-democratic and unconstitutional comments from the Chief Minister.”
Speaking at the inaugural event of Tripura’s first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Sabroom in South Tripura on Friday, Deb had said, “Some newspapers are trying to confuse people, getting all over excited. History will not forgive them, I shall not forgive them either. History will not forgive them, people of Tripura wouldn’t forgive them and I, Biplab Deb shall not forgive them. I do whatever I say, history is testimony to that”.
— Bikash Singh (@bikash_ET) September 12, 2020
In the statement, chairperson Subal Kumar Dey said journalists are facing threats and assaults in different parts of Tripura since Deb’s comments and claimed two mediapersons were physically assaulted in last 24 hours here. “We are deeply anxious at these incidents. We have decided to seek recourse against CM’s threats and intolerance from Tipura Governor RK Bais, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Press Council of India International Federation of Journalists, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Editors Guild etc,” he said.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) had earlier denied charges of ‘threat on media’ and claimed Deb’s comments were taken out of context and used to distort his speech and intention.
Meanwhile, Parashar Biswas, a journalist engaged with a local vernacular daily who challenged Deb on social media and warned him against taunting the media, claimed he was attacked by 6-7 people, sporting helmets and masks, after midnight on Sunday at his residence. After treatment at a local hospital, Biswas filed an FIR at Ambassa police station against seven unnamed persons with charges of violence leading to injury, forceful entry, obstruction etc.
A police official from Dhalai district said investigation is going on the issue but no one was arrested or detained yet.