Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 10:00 IST

#MamataVsManush | Mamata Took Revenge on Santu For Confronting Her Nephew: Suvendu Tells Republic

The arrest of Santu Pan was not just an attack on Republic TV but also the media in general. Catch the live updates in the Sandeshkhali case.

Reported by: Digital Desk
R Bangla reporter arrested in Sandeshkhali | Image:Republic
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North 24 Parganas: In a shocking development, the Mamata Banerjee government has sent Republic Bangla reporter Santu Pan to three-day police custody. Initially, the WB government had sought 10-day police custody for Santu Pan. Taking cognisance of the complaint by Santu Pan's wife over “illegal detention,” the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought reply from West Bengal's DGP, calling the detention as “restriction of freedom of press." 

Kolkata High Court Chief Justice TS Shivagnanam expressed doubt on the Mamata government and Bengal police over Shahjahan Sheikh in today's hearing. "We don't know if Shahjahan is being protected. However, it seems like the local police is shielding him. Otherwise, he is out of the police's reach...A person who is supposed to protect the public is harming them instead. That is the impression."

Check this space for all the updates from Ground Zero:

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Suvendu Adhikari To Republic: Shahjahan is in Sandeshkhali only, Santu was arrested under Mamata's direction

Suvendu Adhikari opens up on the worsening law-and-order situation in Sandeshkhali and the arrest of Santu Pan


"Mamata is protecting Shahjahan from central agencies. He is in Sandeshkhali only," Suvendu Adhikari told Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, while adding, “Bureaucracy is not allowed to function in West Bengal. Media is the fourth pillar of the democracy. The arrest of Republic Bangla reporter is politically motivated and unethical. Republic TV is a target and the reporter's arrest is out of revenge.”

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Suvendu Adhikari To Republic Bangla: Santu is Very Courageous

Saying that there was no due process of law followed while arresting Santu Pan, Adhikari told Republic Bangla, “They can't manhandle a journalist. They can't stop him from doing his duty. This is illegal whatever the police have done under the direction of the higher-ups. You have seen whatever we have done in Sandeshkhali.”

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Sandeshkhali Women's Tears Will Dethrone Mamata in 2024, Says Suvendu

"Mamata's days are over. The public has risen up against her. There is no escaping the public. Sandeshkhali women's tears will be the end of the Mamata," said Suvendu.

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Santu Pan Claims Torture in Police Custody

Arrested Republic Bangla journalist Santu Pan has claimed that he has been harassed both mentally and physically. He claimed that he was not given medicines and proper food.

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Santu Pan Arrested To Instill Fear In Other Journalists: Suvendu in Kolkata Press Club

Suvendu Adhikari addresses Kolkata Press Club

Santu Pan was arrested to instill fear in other journalists. Mamata govt used fear to muzzle free media. Mala fide intention behind Santu Pan's arrest. He was targeted as he was brave enough to confront Abhishek Banerjee. Mamata wants only positive coverage. She can't tolerate any criticism."

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"This Is Not The First Time A Journalist Has Been Detained Illegally In West Bengal: Suvendu Adhikari in Kolkata Press Club

"They didn't give any chance to him. He was dragged from Sandeshkhali Ferry Ghat. He was not provided with anything in the jail. While coming from Sandeshkhali, I heard he was sent to jail. I strongly condemn this. Urge the press community to take this fight to the state. He was arrested without following any due process of law. There was no warrant, no nothing," Suvendu Adhikari in Kolkata Press Club.

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Sandeshkhali Women Express Support For Arrested R Bangla Reporter Santu Pan

Sandeshkhali Women Thank Santu Pan For Voicing Their Pain

Expressing support for Santu Pan, women in Sandeshkhali told Republic Bangla reporter, “We are covering our faces as we are afraid of being identified. Such is the situation over here. We want to thank your reporter for bringing our voices out in the public.”

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Will Set Camp Here Till Justice Is Provided To All Women In Sandeshkhali, Says Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari

Suvendu Adhikari showered with flower petals in Sandeshkhali. PTI

“Will set a camp in Sandeshkhali. If the government uses police force to stop us, we will protest. Let's see how long Mamata can use the state police to suppress our voice,” Suvendu told Republic.

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NIA Seeks Report On Human-Trafficking In Sandeshkhali From Police; More Trouble For Shahjahan And Aides?

Anti-terror agency NIA has sought report on an alleged human-trafficking in Sandeshkhali, which is adjacent to the Bangladesh border. 

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Due Process of Law Not Followed in Reporter's Arrest, says Santu Pan's lawyer

In the video, it is evident that the lady and her family was speaking to Reporter Santu Pan. There was no obstruction or trespassing. No one entered her house. She came out to speak. The Arrest Memo was sent through email only after the family asked for it."

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Suvendu Adhikari visits local BJP leader's house in Sandeshkhali

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Suvendu Adhikari in Sandeshkhali


Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari visited the residence of BJP leader Vikas Singh, who was arrested twice by the local police for alleged provocation. After visiting Vikas Singh's house, Suvendu said, "Will give microphone to everyone. Whoever has faced injustice, come up and shout it out in front of the mic. Seeing your courage, others will come out of the house as well. 

Sandeshkhali LIVE: “It is a violation of democracy. It’s unfortunate what’s happening with the media,” Union Minister of State and BJP leader Shantanu Thakur said on the Sandeshkhali protests and the arrest of R Bangla reporter Santu Pan.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Republic Bangla has taken a stance that it won't be silenced. R Bangla continues to report from Sandeshkhali despite arrest.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: CPI-M leader Brinda Karat, who was also stopped from entering Sandeshkhali this morning, said, "The situation is very dangerous. In my 55 years of life working for the upliftment of women, I have not seen such an incident. The way Mamata treated her (the victims), I do not think the entire country has ever seen something like this. If anyone votes for CPM, they are also beaten up."

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Nalin Kohli, Supreme Court of India Advocate and BJP Spokesperson has commented upon the arrest of Santu Pan. He said, “What has happened is wrong legally and democratically. The brave reporter Santu Pan was exposing the horrific truths of Sandeshkali not only nationally but also globally. The courts will step in. Do expect a favourable verdict from the Calcutta High Court. Otherwise, the Supereme Court will step in. Republic Media Network is known to fighting for the truth and I know that you will continue to do so.”

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Press bodies across India have condemned Mamata Banerjee's decision to arrest R Bangla's reporter Santu Pan.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Four-time Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said after the arrest of R Bangla reporter Santu Pan, “Democracy has been strangled, Mamta ji is not ashamed, she has no affection, Mamta nahin kroota hain (Mamta is cruel). The injustice that has been done to women…action is not being taken against those who committed injustice but action is being taken against the journalists of R Bharat who show the truth. This repression and terror will not continue.”

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Smriti Irani, Minister of Women and Child Development and Minister of Minority Affairs, has commented upon the arrest of R Bangla reporter Santu Pan. She said, “Media is an essential part of our democracy. Today it is Republic TV, tomorrow it can be anyone else. The reporter was doing his duty. Instead of arresting Shahjahan, a reporter has been arrested.” On the Sandeshkhali incident, Smriti Irani reiterated, “Mamata (Banerjee) is on the side of rapists, and Mamata is on the side of gundas like Sheikh Shahjahan.”

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Protests were held in Karnataka's Kalaburgi district against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and the arrest of R Bangla reporter Santu Pan by the Bengal Police on Monday.

Sandeshkali LIVE: “Arresting a reporter is shameful. This is dictatorship," said BJP MP Jyotirmay Singh Mahato while speaking to Republic. “Shahjahan Sheikh is absconding for a month. Mamata is protecting a gunda,” he said.

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Sandeshkali LIVE: Suvendu Adhikari has reached Sandeshkhali amid police protection. He is sporting a black badge in protest. Suvendu Adhikari will be speaking to the women in Sandeshkhali, who allegedly faced sexual harassment and torture at the hands of TMC members.  

Sandeshkhali LIVE: The Calcutta High Court has called out the West Bengal government for failing to arrest TMC leader Sheikh Shahjahan. "He cannot be encouraged by state dispensation. There is a prima facie material to show he has done damage…This person cannot be on the run. Obviously, there will be a law and order problem. He is a public representative. He cannot be defying law. Let’s see whether he can appear before the court,” said the court.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: WB Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikhari and BJP MLA Shankar Ghosh have been allowed to enter Sandeshkhali after the court reiterates its permission.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Join the campaign for justice against Mamata's Emergency-like decision. Send in your videos and messages with #MamataArrestsMedia .

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy on the Sandeshkhali incident and arrest of R Bangla reporter, "In West Bengal, we have seen several instances for the past one year, which is not good for democracy. Even a lady reporter was assaulted earlier. It’s not good on the part of the West Bengal government."

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"Whatever criticism or ground reality is there, our media friends are collecting the news and showing it to the public. Our Constitution itself says everybody has got freedom and this freedom is being curtailed by the West Bengal government. It is threatening several people in the democratic system and this is a shameful on the part of the government," he said.

"Dictatorship is going on in several places across the country. This reminds us of (the 1975) Emergency. Central institutions should interfere in this matter. They have to give security to uplift the democratic system and must interfere and take necessary action according to the Constitution. This is my request to the constitutional institutions," added Kumaraswamy.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose has called upon political parties and people from all backgrounds to unite for a 'peace visit' to Sandeshkhali. On the illegal arrest of R Bangla reporter Santu Pan by the West Bengal Police, the Governor said, “The arrest of the journalist…I have given my opinion yesterday. I repeat it. The government should take appropriate action effectively. No attempt that is made against the media will be tolerated. I expect the government to take appropriate actions. No attempt at muzzling the press can be tolerated." 

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Upon being asked about Suvendu Adhikari being stopped from entering Sandeshkhali, West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose said, “It is a matter which is under the consideration of the court. The court will take the appropriate decision.”

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: “We are unlawfully blocked,” said Suvendu Adhikari after being stopped from entering Sandeshkhali.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Suvendu Adhikari has been stopped from entering Sandeskhali in spite of a court order allowing his visit.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: A fresh order of Section 144 has been imposed in five places in Sandeshkhali today.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: R Bangla reporter Santu Pan's family has moved the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) against his arrest and harassment in Sandeshkhali. “My husband’s arrest was an attempt to throttle the media,” said Santu Pan’s wife in the NHRC complaint.

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Join the Campaign for Justice against Mamata Banerjee's Emergency-like decision. Send us your messages and videos with the hashtag #MamataArrestsMedia.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: The West Bengal police has charged R Bangla with false allegations. after the arrest of reporter Santu Pan for reporting live from Sandeshkhali. 

Sandeshkhali LIVE: “I was arrested for exposing the truth. They can't protect the women of Sandeshkhali, but they arrest the reporters. I am being mentally and physically harassed,” said R Bangla reporter Santu Pan, speaking for the first time after his arrest.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: The NIA has sought details from the West Bengal police about alleged human-trafficking in Sandeshkhali. So far no separate case has been registered. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) hasn’t issued any order as yet, sources revealed to Republic.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: The NIA has started preliminary investigation in the Sandeshkhali case, say sources. A first information report (FIR) may be registered in this matter soon, even as the NIA is in search of the main Sandeshkhali accused Sheikh Shahjahan.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: Bengal BJP has demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: “TMC wants to finish the media and the Constitution of our nation,” said WB Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikhari.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: “They want to hold us. I want to tell Bengal Police that I will take correct action at the correct time,” said Suvendu Adhikhari.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: “They arrested the journalist. They did not even offer dinner to him. He asked the question to the government so they arrested him and harassed him," said WB Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikhari.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: “We follow the orders given by judiciary. Police are not working under CRPC and IPC. They are working according to TMC," said said Suvendu Adhikari.

Sandeshkhali LIVE: “We were trying to go to Sandeshkhali from 10th Feb, but they did not allow us. Now I'm going to visit Sandeshkhali according to the court order. Bengal police is working for TMC,” said Suvendu Adhikari.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: While leaving for Sandeshkhali, West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari told Republic, “A senior officer called me and asked me to visit after 11 AM. I said that my visit is scheduled at 9:30 AM according to the court order. They want to stop us.”

Sandeshkhali LIVE: West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari is on the way to visit Sandeshkhali. Adhikari will visit the violence-hit region with some MLAs around 11 am today.

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Sandeshkhali LIVE: Court removes Section 144 from Sandeshkhali for the next seven days. 

Sandeshkhali LIVE: A day after Republic Bangla reporters Santu Pan and Arnab Majumdar were manhandled by the police at Ferryghat in Sandeshkhali, West Bengal, and Santu Pan was arrested, Republic Media Network is pursuing legal action. 

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 11:30 IST