NUJI announces protest over Republic Bangla TV journalist’s arrest in WB

The journalist organisations plan to hold an agitation at Banga Bhawan on Wednesday, with a march from Jantar Mantar to Banga Bhawan on Hailey Road in New Delhi.

| Updated: 20 February, 2024 7:11 pm IST
Republic TV Journalist Arrested By Police In Sandeshkhali

NEW DELHI: In response to the arrest of Republic Bangla TV journalist Santu Pan in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, the National Union of Journalists (India) (NUJI) and Delhi Journalists Association (DJA) have condemned the incident and announced a protest.

The journalist organisations plan to hold an agitation at Banga Bhawan on Wednesday, with a march from Jantar Mantar to Banga Bhawan on Hailey Road in New Delhi.

During a meeting held at the NUJI and DJA office in Jantar Mantar on Tuesday, concerns were raised about the imposition of an undeclared emergency in West Bengal, leading to the stifling of media freedom. NUJI and DJA demanded the immediate release of Santu Pan and urged that journalists be allowed to work freely in the state.

NUJI President Ras Bihari criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, alleging that while criminals are given free rein, journalists exposing hooliganism are being unjustly incarcerated.

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Bihari highlighted that media persons are facing continuous attacks from supporters of the ruling party Trinamool Congress in Bengal. A three-member delegation from NUJI is set to visit West Bengal to prepare a detailed report on the attacks and harassment faced by journalists, which will be submitted to the central government.

Former NUJI President and Press Council of India member Prajanand Chaudhary condemned the incident, emphasising that the NUJI West Bengal unit has written a letter to Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee, demanding immediate action against the culprits. NUJI General Secretary Pradeep Tiwari expressed the challenges faced by journalists working independently in West Bengal and mentioned plans for a struggle, along with a complaint to the Press Council.

Rakesh Thapliyal, the convenor of Delhi Journalists Association, highlighted the history of journalist arrests in West Bengal, leading to the closure of many media organisations.

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Senior journalist Awadesh Kumar pointed out that the West Bengal government’s actions aim to silence journalists exposing crimes against women and illegal land grabs. He stressed the worrying trend of ideological attacks on journalists, calling for Opposition at all levels.

During the meeting, various members, including Ashok Kinkar, Anand Rana, Seema Kiran, Manoj Verma, and Ashok Barthwal, shared their views on the alarming situation, emphasising the need for collective action to safeguard press freedom and journalists’ rights.

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