Updated May 14th, 2024 at 00:24 IST

Republic Bangla Reporter Assaulted as WB Police Forcefully Evicts Women Protesters in Sandeshkhali

Republic Bangla reporter Madhu Kalpita was assaulted by the West Bengal police, and Video journalist Pinaki was also attacked during the police brutality.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
Republic Bangla reporter Madhu Kalpita was assaulted by the West Bengal police, and Video journalist Pinaki was also attacked during the police brutality. | Image:Republic Digital
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Kolkata: In an attempt to crush the ongoing protests over the alleged atrocities against women in Sandeshkhali, the West Bengal police on Monday evening stormed into North 24 Parganas region, wherein women supporters were forcefully evicted by the cops, Republic has learnt. 

Republic Media Network's crew was manhandled and R Bangla reporter Madhu Kalpita was assaulted by the West Bengal police, initial reports coming in from Ground Zero suggest. 

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Video journalist Pinaki was also attacked during the police brutality at the behest of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

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The police want to stop us from protesting, angry women protesters said while speaking to Republic.

“Last night at 2.30 am, police stormed into the village and arrested Gita Bora, she was one of the faces of our protest. This evening, they arrested a few more. They [Bengal police] want to stop us from protesting”, women protesters told Republic, adding that the police attacked them while they were protesting.

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“They pulled our hair and broke our bangles”, a woman protester present at the spot said while narrating her ordeal.

“Are the police trying to be the Goondabahini of Shahjahan?” she questioned. 

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Women in Sandeshkhali to Stand in Vigil Through the Night

Meanwhile, BJP's National IT Dept. Co-incharge in West Bengal and Member of the BJP National Executive Amit Malviya took to social media platform ‘X’, stating that the women in Sandeshkhali have decided “to stand in vigil through the night so that Mamata Banerjee’s police, along with local TMC goons, can no longer arrest the women members of BJP families on false pretext”.

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“Imagine, first it was Sheikh Shahjahan, who put these women through horrible sexual abuse and now the Chief Minister is subjecting them to such torture. Karma will soon catch up with her”, Malviya wrote in a post on ‘X’.

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Notably, this is not the first time when Republic Bangla crew reporting on the atrocities in the violence-hit region has come under attack. In April this year, another R Bangla reporter Santu Pan was not only assaulted but was also arrested by the Mamata police for his fierce reporting on the atrocities in Sandeshkhali and the role of tainted TMC leader Shahjahan Sheikh thereof. 

The latest assault on Republic reporter comes amid reports of violence that marred the fourth phase of polling for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal's eight parliamentary constituencies, with clashes between the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP workers resulting in injuries on both sides in Birbhum and Bardhaman-Durgapur seats.

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Around 1,700 complaints of EVM malfunction and obstruction of agents entering booths were recorded till 1pm, news agency PTI reported, quoting the Election Commission. The TMC, Congress, and BJP filed hundreds of complaints related to poll violence, voter intimidation, and assaults on agents, the poll body reportedly said.

Clashes were reported between supporters of TMC and BJP in Monteswar's Susunia area of Bardhaman-Durgapur Lok Sabha seat around noon, as BJP candidate Dilip Ghosh was on his way to a polling booth following complaints of booth jamming.

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As Ghosh was on his way, TMC supporters blocked his convoy and squatted in front of his vehicle, starting a protest against him.

Stones were hurled at his convoy, following which some of the cars of the security personnel tailing his convoy were damaged.

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Ghosh was also heckled by the TMC activists, PTI reported, citing sources.

"Police are just mute spectators. The TMC has let loose a reign of terror. Since morning, TMC goons have beaten up our polling agents and are not allowing polling to be free and fair," Ghosh told reporters.

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Ghosh, whose convoy was again targetted at the Kalna gate in the Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency, told PTI that he had gone to a booth there following allegations of the TMC not allowing BJP's booth agents.

Bricks were hurled at his convoy leading to serious injury of central police personnel deployed in his security.

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"This is the second time that my convoy was attacked today. Two of my security personnel were injured and had to be taken to hospital for treatment," the BJP leader reportedly said.

The TMC, however, denied the charges and claimed Ghosh was "trying to vitiate the atmosphere sensing defeat." 

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In Durgapur area of the same constituency, clashes broke out between the TMC and the BJP, following which saffron party activists staged a sit-in.

In Birbhum Lok Sabha constituency, BJP workers clashed with TMC activists in Nanoor after BJP polling agents were stopped from entering booths.

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The BJP workers alleged that besides intimidating voters, TMC members also forcibly ousted their polling agents from a booth.

Tension also prevailed in Chapra area of Krishnanagar constituency as BJP workers were allegedly beaten by TMC workers.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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Published May 13th, 2024 at 19:21 IST