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Journalists Arrested for Covering Tripura Violence Get Bail

By: Sashwata Saha
17 Nov 2021 5:02:25 PM Newshound India Desk

Two journalists, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, who were arrested in Assam on Monday for their coverage of anti-Muslim violence in the neighbouring Tripura state, were granted bail hours later, Bar and Bench reported.

 

While granting bail at a bond of Rs 70,000, a Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Gomati district said that while the offences are “serious in nature”, it appears that it is not necessary from the evidence on record to detain the accused in police custody. Doing so, the court led by CJM Subhra Nath said, “would be extreme curtailment of personal liberty”.

 

The two were arrested at Nilambazaar in the Karimganj district of Assam and brought back by a special team of the Tripura Police on purported charges of publishing false news to disrupt communal harmony. They were arrested after being named in a First Information Report (FIR) at the Fatikroy police station in Tripura.

 

On Sunday, the duo, working for the fledgling HW News Network, had taken to Twitter to allege harassment by Tripura’s local police officers. They said that the officers had followed them around every step of their reportage before taking them in for questioning to the Dharamnagar police station.

 

Ganesh Jagtap, managing director of the Mumbai-based digital news channel HW News Network, said to The Indian Express, “They were arrested on Sunday and produced in court on Monday and we represented through our advocate and bail was granted. Police have booked them for criminal conspiracy and spreading communal disharmony. This was for their individual tweets and did not pertain to our news items.”

 

Samriddhi and Swarna were making a series of investigative reports on attacks by the Hindu right-wing militia on Muslim residences, properties and mosques. Meanwhile, BJP’s Biplab Kumar Deb led administration continues to vehemently deny any such violence.

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