A day after videos have emerged showing NewsX journalists attacked by TMC workers in West Bengal, another incident of attack on media personnel by TMC has come to light. Popular Bengali newspaper Sangbad Pratidin has reported that on Monday, a reporter and a cameraman working for the paper were attacked by TMC goons in Hooghly.
According to the report, journalist Nabyendu Hazra and cameraman Rajiv Dey were covering the day-long schedule of BJP candidate Locket Chatterjee on Monday. At around 1 PM, Locket Chatterjee had gone to a primary school where polling was going on. According to BJP, TMC workers had captured the booth, and they were casting the votes in place of genuine voters who were prevented from coming to the booth. The moment the BJP team entered the polling booth, TMC workers present there resisted them and this raised tension between the two sides. Seeing this, Locket came out of the booth, but the TMC workers started attacking the BJP workers. The vehicle of the BJP candidate was also smashed.
During this, the Sangbad Pratidin journalists covering the incident were also attacked by TMC goons. They were surrounded and beaten up. The photojournalist was pinned to the ground by the attackers, and his spectacles were also smashed. The camera was also destroyed by the goons.
According to the journalists, the role of security personnel during the incident was also questionable. They say that at least for soldiers of central armed forces were present when the journalists were being attacked, but they remained mute spectators. Nobody came forward to help the scribes, they allege.
Nabyendu said that he never had such an experience before when they were attacked for just being journalists. Photojournalist Rajiv Dey said that he was never beaten like this before. The journalists have lodged an FIR at the Dhanekhali police station about the incident.
Locket Chatterjee said that when she entered the booth, she saw that there were no voters there, and the booth was under the control of TMC workers. She also said that when she entered the booth, all votes in the booth were already cast, and the presiding officer was having his meal inside the booth itself. She said, “when they saw that media have come with me, they realised that the rigging done by them will be exposed and hence they attacked. They pulled my cloth, hair, hit me, smashed my vehicle. Somehow, we escaped from there, but the administration did not help us”.
A few days ago Sangbad Pratidin had published an interview with BJP president Amit Shah, and some people believe that people working with the paper may be specifically targeted by TMC for this reason.
Within days of publishing an interview of @AmitShah, the reporter & photographer of leading Bengali daily #SangbadPratidin were brutally beaten up while they were covering #LoksabhaElections2019
The press car was damaged Nobody’s saying a word. When will the reign of terror end? pic.twitter.com/1105SPKgpM
— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) May 7, 2019
She added that media is working independently, not listening to the ruling party in the state, that’s why the media is being attacked by TMC workers. The BJP candidate said that she will ask for repoll in the booth, along with around 100 booths.