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Kidnapped or in hiding? Where is Bengal scribe Chayan Sarkar?

By Indrani Roy
Last updated on: August 05, 2015 20:55 IST
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Chayan Sarkar, a correspondent with a Bengal daily, who was allegedly threatened by members of TMC’s student wing for investigating an education scam, was last seen on Sunday near Salsalabari railway station.’s Indrani Roy reports

Locals protest the disappearance of Bengal scribe Chayan Sarkar. Photograph: Biswajit Jha/Facebook

Is the missing West Bengal journalist in hiding?

At least, that’s what Sabyasachi Talukdar, a senior colleague of Chayan Sarkar, the correspondent with the Uttar Banga Sambad, who went missing on August 2, believes.

Talukdar, the editor of the popular Bengal daily, is of the opinion that Sarkar was not abducted but was forced to go into hiding after receiving repeated threatening calls from some miscreants ever since he wrote about a massive admission-related corruption at the Vivekananda College at Alipurduar, North Bengal.

The entire fracas, which seems to bear similarities with the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, began when Sarkar went missing last Sunday after eight people, earlier named by him in a first information report for issuing threats against him, were arrested.

According to colleagues, those arrested, allegedly affiliated to Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (youth wing of the TMC), were ‘irked’ with the scribe for writing on the admission scam.

Sarkar, 30, fondly referred to by his colleagues as the ‘daring soul who did not hesitate to call a spade a spade’, has been penning a series of investigative reports on the rapid growth of Trinamool Congress sponsored syndicates in the northern parts of Bengal.

According to media reports, following his articles, a group of people, allegedly close to TCP had taken to the streets to protest against Sarkar. They had also attacked the scribe’s rural home in Alipurduar, an associate of Sarkar told

The associate added that though there were non-bailable charges against the group named in that FIR, they were released in no time.

Following this, Sarkar dashed off a letter to the police stating that unless the offenders were brought to book, he would opt for hunger strike in Alipurduar from Monday.

Interestingly, just a day before his proposed hunger strike, Sarkar went missing.

The scribe’s disappearance sparked widespread protests across Bengal, with political activists, journalists, intellectuals and teachers alike organising protest rallies across the state demanding Sarkar’s release.

On Tuesday, the Congress called for a 12-hour bandh which was supported by Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left Front.

Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri Press Club members alleged that Sarkar has been kidnapped by a group involved in an admission racket.

On Tuesday, officials from the Crime Investigation Department, met with Sarkar’s family after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked them to probe the case.

And even as rumours swirled on Tuesday that Sarkar had been spotted and rescued by the sleuths, police officers in Kolkata and North Bengal told that ‘no such news’ was available with them.

Talukdar added that he too, had received no information about Sarkar’s whereabouts. “I spoke to the Inspector General of Police Gyanwant Singh, who is leading the investigation. He too denied that Chayan has been found,” Talukdar told

“I have a hunch that police know Chayan’s whereabouts but are not disclosing the same for his security,” he added.

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Indrani Roy / in Kolkata