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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Tripura: Out on bail, women scribes held for ‘communal disharmony’ appear before cops for questioning

“They came to the police station around 2:30 pm and are answering our questions. The questioning is still going on (at 8:30 PM). They have cooperated so far with our investigation,” an official said.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala |
Updated: November 16, 2021 9:37:07 pm
Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, both reporting for HW News Network were produced before a court in Tripura n Monday. (Express Photo)

Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, the two women journalists who were granted bail by a Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court Monday after being arrested over alleged attempts of communal disharmony and criminal conspiracy, Tuesday turned up at Kakraban police station in Gomati district for questioning which went on for nearly six hours till latest reports came in.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, an official of Tripura Police informed that the two journalists appeared before the police as per order of the Gomati district CJM court and cooperated with the investigation.

“They came to the police station around 2:30 pm and are answering our questions. The questioning is still going on (at 8:30 PM). They have cooperated so far with our investigation,” the official said.

While observing that charges against the journalists were “serious”, the Gomati CJM Court Monday said that from the evidence on record, it appeared it was not necessary to detain the accused in police custody and granted them bail with condition that they would cooperate with the police. The court also said that detaining them in police custody “would be extreme curtailment of personal liberty”.

Samriddhi K Sakunia reporting from Chamtila mosque, Panisangar area. (Twitter/Samriddhi K Sakunia)

In its order, the court said the accused journalists would have to execute a bond of Rs 75,000 with one surety of like amount who would be a respectable person in the state and would have to appear before the investigating officer of the case booked against them on every first day of the month starting from the appearance on the next day of their release (Tuesday) until further order or filling of charge-sheet, whichever is earlier.

A Tripura Police officer said the journos will be allowed to leave Tripura after the questioning but would have to appear without pretext before the investigating officer as and when called for during the investigation.

Sakunia and Jha, who were reporting for HW News Network, were arrested at Nilambazaar in Karimganj district of Assam and were brought back by a special team of Tripura Police before being produced in the court of CJM Subhra Nath.

They were booked in two separate FIRs — one a suo motu case filed by the investigating officer of a communal clash case being probed by the Kakraban police station in Gomati district and the other registered at Fatikroy police station in Unakoti district, where the complainant, Kanchan Das, a local VHP activist, alleged that Saturday, the two journalists visited homes of Muslims in Paul Bazaar area of Fatikroy and “delivered instigating speeches against Hindus and Tripura Government”.

The journalists were arrested in the first case registered at Kakraban police station in Gomati district.

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