Sandeshkhali Unrest: Scribe reporting from ground arrested

Kolkata, Feb 19 : In a latest development, a reporter working with the Bengali news channel Republic Bangla, who was filing ground reports from the trouble-ridden Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district since the time tension broke out there last week, was arrested by the police late on Monday evening.

Although the state police have not yet revealed the exact charges against Santu Pan, the arrested reporter, sources said that he was held while reporting from Sandeshkhali on Monday evening following a complaint of trespassing filed against him and his cameraman by a local woman.

Basirhat DSP Hossain Mehdi Rehman told mediapersons that the complainant claimed that the reporter along with his cameraman trespassed into her residence and started recording, for which she was not prepared.

Santu Pan will be presented before a lower court in Basirhat on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the opposition leaders in the state have criticised the ruling Trinamool Congress for the arrest, describing it as an unprecedented attack on the media.

State BJP President Sukanta Majumdar said the arrest shows how desperate the state government is to suppress the incidents of Sandeshkhali.

“This is a massive, inhuman and direct attack on the fourth pillar of democracy,” he said.

State Congress leader and advocate in the Calcutta High Court, Kaustav Bagchi, said it is proved that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cannot tolerate the slightest of adverse coverage or criticism against her government.

“She wants everyone to praise her and her government. Those who don’t will face the wrath of the state administration through its police,” Bagchi said.

Naushad Siddique, the lone AISF representative in the state Assembly, decried the arrest and said that such an unprecedented attack on the media was unheard of In West Bengal.

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