Ananta Deb Adhikari, the Trinamool Congress MLA from Mainaguri was booked for allegedly slapping a local journalist in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal on Monday. The journalist named Somnath Chakraborty reportedly drew the ire of the MLA after he published a news about the MLA’s criticism of the Zilla Parishad.
The TMC MLA, however, denied the allegations and responded, “Everyone should read what the journalist had written and tell me whether it would make me angry or not”.
The incident reportedly took place in the Mainaguri area after MLA Ananta Deb Adhikari inaugurated an open gymnasium. Speaking to Republic, Chakraborty told that the incident happened at Jalpesh where the MLA, in his address, said that the organizers of Jalpesh Fair never involved him in the decision-making. When Chakraborty asked this to the organizers they refuted it. “The news was published on Tuesday, at an event, the MLA confronted me for publishing ‘anti-government’ news and slapped me”, alleged Chakraborty. An FIR has been filed by Chakraborty against Adhikari.
The incident enraged fellow journalists of Siliguri Journalists Club who staged a protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Siliguri on Wednesday.
The protesting journalists raised slogans and placards condemning the alleged assault on Chakraborty who works with Bartman, a Bengali newspaper.
Mainaguri Trinamool MLA Ananta Dev Adhikari allegedly slapped Somnath Chakraborty, a reporter from local daily newspaper Bartaman, when asked a question.— The Darjeeling Chronicle (@TheDarjChron) January 6, 2021
During the protest, journalists from the region raised slogans and placards condemning the incident. pic.twitter.com/kzgLXlHJMm
The state BJP posted a tweet condemning the incident and slammed the ruling TMC for it.
প্রতিদিন গণতন্ত্রের চতুর্থস্তম্ভকে মারতে চাইছে পিসি সরকার— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) January 6, 2021
পিসি, সব অরাজকতার জবাব চাই ! pic.twitter.com/XXbwcX2LBR
The party said that the persecution of Chakraborty at the hands of Adhikari portrayed a clear picture of TMC’s totalitarian regime and that even journalists were not spared from the tyranny of the ruling party in the state.