The Press Club of India (PCI) on Tuesday demanded that a case be dropped. The Tripura police lodged this case against two women journalists. They were reported for creating hatred between communities.
Condemning the police action against the journalists, the PCI talked to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It urged them to take action against the human rights violation by Tripura police. The police had detained the two scribes till night in the police station. This was a major mistake that they committed.
Journalists Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha are from the HW News Network. They came to Tripura to write on the recent communal incidents. On doing so, the Assam police detained them at Karimganj’s Neelam Bazar. This happened close to the Assam-Tripura border on Sunday.
Later, they were brought to Tripura and formally arrested on Monday morning. The charges were: they were posting inflammatory and fake news on social media. The two were, however, later released on bail on Monday.
“The Press Club of India strongly condemns the detention and harassment of two Delhi-based women reporters, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha by Tripura state police under charges of spreading communal hatred. The reporters were booked for creating hatred between communities for fabricating, concealing the truth,” the journalist’s body said in a statement.
The PCI noted that Sakunya and Jha were named in an FIR filed at Fatikroy Police Station in Tripura on Sunday. This happened due to a complaint filed by a VHP supporter. “The Press Club of India demands that the cases be dropped and the media be allowed to carry out their duty independently.”
The PCI also urges the NHRC to take cognizance of the human rights violation by Tripura police in detaining both reporters till night in the police station, as law ordains that “police can’t keep a woman detained in police station beyond 6 pm,” the journalists’ body said.
The PCI noted that this was not the first time that a media person faced harassment at the hands of the Tripura Police. “Journalist Shyam Meera Singh was booked under the UAPA for reporting on the disturbing incidents unfolding in Tripura,” it said. “For a democracy to thrive, the media should be allowed to do their job without any harassment,” it added.
In a tweet on Twitter, the Press Club of India added, “At this point of time when state machinery is blindfolded and deliberately taking no cognizance of unlawful acts of perpetrators, the Press Club of India demands that the Supreme Court take suo moto notice of communal cauldron being ignited in Tripura.”