Assault on journalists: Bengal governor calls for action

Kolkata, Oct 4 (IANS) A day after as many as 17 journalists were left bloodied and bruised while covering the violence-marred civic polls in Bidhannagar, West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi on Sunday called for action in the matter.

“Irrespective of whether it goes against anyone or in favour of anyone, the state election commission should take into consideration taking such action which is permissible under the law,” Tripathi told media persons here.

Media persons had to face the ire of alleged Trinamool Congress workers and hoodlums as they tried to film and click photos of electoral malpractices during the polls to the municipal corporation of Bidhannagar- the city’s posh satellite township on Saturday.

While several of the mediapersons including photo and video journalists had to be hospitalized, a female reporter of a news channel was allegedly threatened of rape by a gang of goons.

The unprecedented attack on the media attracted severe criticism from several quarters including political parties while many took to social networking sites to vent their ire on the “absence of democracy” in the state under the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress regime.

Condemning the attack on the journalists as well as the large scale violence surrounding the polls, the Congress during the day staged demonstration demanding the removal of state election commissioner S.R. Upadhyay.

Meanwhile members of Aakranto Aamra – a forum of victims of human rights violations and administrative excesses – met the journalists undergoing treatment at a city nursing home.

Among those to meet the hospitalised media persons included Trinamool legislator from Bidhannagar Sujit Bose who was shown by TV news channels to be present near the site where some of the journalists were assaulted.

The Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) and the Kolkata Press Club has also condemned the attack and demanded immediate action against the assailants.

Seething in anger over the assault on the media, a section of journalists are also mulling taking out a protest rally on Monday.

Noted Bengali poet Sankha Ghosh described the violence as “shameless barbarism”.

“It is a shameless barbarism, which has crossed all limits,” Ghosh said in a statement.

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