Suvendu calls for arrest of journalist who attacks press freedom in West Bengal

Journalist Manab Guha was arrested by Kolkata police last week for allegedly posting certain documents on social media

Journalist Manab Guha was arrested by Kolkata police last week for allegedly posting certain documents on social media

Kolkata

West Bengal Assembly Opposition Leader Suvendu Adhikari on October 17 called the arrest of journalist Manab Guha an attack on press freedom.

Mr. Guha was arrested by Kolkata police last week for allegedly posting certain documents on social media related to a clash between two committees at Ekbalpore in Kolkata.

“The manner in which Manab Guha was arrested at his home without a search warrant and strict articles imposed on him. This is an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in West Bengal,” Mr. Adhikari told a press conference at the Kolkata Press Club.

“Manab Guha and for many others like him, the only sin was putting the truth in the public domain. Attempts are being made by the Chief Minister to force people to remove those who protested by writing poems and singing songs against her,” the Leader of the Opposition said. Mr. Adhikari also expressed his anguish that representatives of the Kolkata Press Club did not voice their support for the arrested journalist.

“I had hoped that the Press Club would register its protests, perhaps only by displaying black badges. This would not have angered the ruling party and you registered your protest against the arrest of Manab Guha. But since they did not, as leader of the opposition, I am obliged to speak at the press conference at the press club,” Mr Adhikari said.

The BJP MP said he was ready to provide all kinds of help to the arrested journalist who remains in custody.

Mr. Guha, who works as a publisher of a web portal, was arrested on Thursday and charged under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth), 295A (deliberate and malicious, intentional acts to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to cause a breach of the peace) among others Indian Penal Code.

Clashes between two communities erupted in the Mominpur area of ​​the city under Ekbalpore Police Station on 9 October. Shops and vehicles were attacked and two people were injured in the violence. The Kolkata High Court has ordered the establishment of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) made up of experienced police officers led by the Kolkata Police Commissioner to investigate the clashes. The court, while impressing on the government that victims of crime are compensated promptly and adequately, ordered it to ensure that community harmony in the area is restored and that all ameliorative measures are taken to instil feelings of harmony and brotherhood in all strata of society. .