Three local journalists were assaulted while covering a clash between members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday at Tripura’s Khayerpur town, The Indian Express reported.
The journalists have been identified as Prangopal Acharya, Pintu Paul and Biswajit Debnath. No arrests have been made in the case so far.
“Three complaints were filed on the issue, including one from a journalist organisation,” Priya Madhuri Majumder, sub-divisional police officer of the New Capital Complex area, told PTI. “Three journalists were attacked, but they were not injured. About 4-5 other people were wounded.”
CPI(M) state committee member Pabitra Kar told EastMojo that BJP supporters, led by a local leader attacked his party members, while a meeting was being held at his residence. Three local committee leaders of the CPI(M) were badly injured, Kar said.
Meanwhile, Assembly of Journalists, a media rights body, said the incident took place on Sunday afternoon. “A group of journalists was assaulted by a group of 7-8 miscreants when they were covering the clash,” General Secretary Sanit Debroy said in a statement. “In a complaint filed with Bodhjungnagar police station, the scribes informed that they were threatened with dire consequences and the miscreants tried to snatch their cameras.”
The journalists’ body further said that the incident was “part of a continued attack on media in Tripura” since Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s comment in September, threatening them for their reporting of the coronavirus crisis.
The Agartala Press Club also condemned Sunday’s incident and demanded exemplary punishment for those involved in the attack.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee, however, blamed CPI(M) for the incident. “Many involved in mafia raj activities fled away from the state, some are facing trial, while many have changed their nature,” he told EastMojo. “Now, the CPI(M) is reviving their activities of terrorising people by attacking BJP workers.”
Following the clash, Tripura Police has deployed security forces in the area, EastMojo reported.