Kolkata:Kolkata Press Club has strongly condemned the attack on media persons on February 14 by Hindu Sahmati supporters during a conversion programme.
“Today, a section of media was attacked in Kolkata. We condemn this act and request the government or the officials to take necessary action against the accused. Throughout India, journalists are being targeted if they question. Press Club Kolkata is worried about this trend. In a democracy, media shouldn’t be cornered to compromise on media ethics,” said KingshukPramanik, Secretary of Press Club Kolkata.
On Wednesday, 14 members of a Muslim family had been called upon a dais during a public rally organized in the heart of the city, to declare conversion of Hossain Ali and his family in Kolkata to Hindu religion.
During the event, Tapan Ghosh, mentor of Hindu Samhati, said, “Earlier we used to do GharWapsi (a termed coined for conversion by radical Hindu groups) in a discreet way in Bengal, but we decided to go public today. “ Ghosh further added that the Samhati would be giving an open dawat to other Muslims in the villages of Bengal, to come back to their roots.
However, the event didn’t proceed as planned, when the journalists invited to witness the conversion posed questions to Hossain and his family. The members of Samhati were of the opinion that the 14-member family comprising mainly of toddlers, wouldn’t be interacting with the media. However, unlike media of other states, where such display of religious conversion proceeds uninterrupted, the journalists present at the event insisted on getting answers of their questions from the family, but samhati supporters roughened up the scribes. The scuffle that followed left Anjan Roy, a journalist with Zee 24 Ghanta injured.
“There is degradation of journalistic values and ethics across India and so it’s the same in Bengal. But yes there are some journalists still remain true to their profession who question the ruling party and also those groups who try to create the atmoshphere of hate,” Biswajit Roy, a senior journalist told eNewsroom.
However, Biswajit also pointed out, “It is an interesting thing to note that for the same place Hindu Samhati gets easy clearance to hold function, in the heart of the city, but no other group or political parties get permission.”
Speaking about the action taken for the alleged assault on media, joint commissioner of police (crime) Praveen Kumar Tripathy, said, “ TapanGhosh along with Rishikesh Roy, TapanShil and Preetam Pal have been arrested under section 307, 326, 427 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, for assaulting the journalists.”
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also condemned the attack on media.