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Scribes covering Nandigram violence assaulted
March 14, 2007 23:59 IST
Two journalists -- one of the Press Trust of India and the other of a private TV channel -- were assaulted and their cameras and mobile phones damaged allegedly by Communist Party of India-Marxist cadres while they were covering the violent protests in Nandigram.
The West Bengal district has seen violent incidents over the issue of acquisition of land for a SEZ to be set up by Indonesia's Salim Group.
About 30 CPI-M men at Riapara stopped Gouranga Deb Hazra, PTI's East Midnapore district correspondent, who was riding pillion on a motorcycle, on his way to Chandipur from Nandigram around noon.
Hazra said his bag was searched and snatched and he was repeatedly hit on his head and back allegedly by CPI-M workers, who later dragged him to their camp where he was confined for five hours and assaulted.
He, however, managed to ring up PTI's office in Kolkata. Threats to him were audible over the mobile phone. "Chup kore thakun...eto katha balar darkar ki? (Keep your mouth shut. Why you are talking so much?). "Mere bhut baniye debo. Mobileta bandha korun (We will beat you black and blue. Switch off your mobile)," his tormentors were heard shouting.
Hazra said he was a journalist on duty, which prompted one of his tormentors to threaten him by saying: "Beshey barabari korley lash baritey choley jabey (If you call up too many times your body will be sent home)."
He said he fainted after the repeated assaults. When he came to, he found his captors fleeing as Bengali news channel Tara News was airing a report that he was missing.Bholanath of Tara News too was robbed of his camera and mobile phone and severely assaulted, allegedly by CPI-M cadres, the channel said.