I&B Minister Anurag Thakur condemns ‘attack on media freedom’ in Bengal

New Delhi/Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) A reporter working with 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.

Basirhat DSP Hossain Mehdi Rehman told mediaperson that Santu Pan, the arrested reporter, was held while reporting from Sandeshkhali on Monday evening following a complaint of trespassing lodged against him and his cameraman by a local woman. Pan will be presented before a lower court in Basirhat on Tuesday.

Reacting to the development, Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur termed it as an attack on media freedom in West Bengal.

“Nothing can be worse than the fact that people who are committing atrocities against women are being patronised and the media is being silenced under a woman Chief Minister,” Thakur said, in apparent reference to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The minister also said that it’s unfortunate that journalists are being prevented from reporting on the atrocities committed against women in a state where the Chief Minister is a woman.

However, coercive action against scribes is not new in West Bengal, Thakur added.

The minister also said that the stifling of freedom of expression in West Bengal is unfortunate, as it amounts to murder of democracy, as he accused the Trinamool Congress government of flouting constitutional norms.

The West Bengal Government is trying to cover-up the truth as to how women are feeling insecure under Mamata Banerjee’s rule, Thakur said.



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