Agartala: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday directed the Director General of Tripura police to take action within eight weeks against those perpetrating attacks on media outlets and journalists.
The NHRC’s Assistant Registrar (Law), Shubhra Tyagi Goel, in a communication to the Tripura police, reported that the complaint lodged by Assembly of Journalists (AoJ), Tripura on Nov 29 last year was heard on Sunday and a directive to the police chief was issued.
“The complaint is transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within eight weeks associating the complainant/victim and to inform him/her of the action taken in the matter,” the NHRC communication reads.
AoJ complained with NHRC that soon after the “unprovoked threat” to the media by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sept 11, 2020, two Journalists were badly bashed up by the miscreants. The figure has now risen to 28 in the state.
“Since police did not respond properly, rather desperately tried to shield the criminals, attacks on media personnel multiplied. A large number of sub-division and block level reporters have been chased away from their respective native places over the past three years,” the AoJ alleged.
Despite filing FIRs and complaints with the police in most of the attacks on journalists and media over the last eight months, no investigation was done. There is no visible move from Tripura police to contain such attacks and book the criminals. This “nefarious hooliganism” continued almost regularly on journalists and the media outlets which refuse to toe the line of the government.
The attacks are not limited to the journalists or media houses only. The miscreants have attacked the hawkers and readers of some particular newspapers, which criticised the government in their publications and “the conspiracy has been hatched from the highest level” against the journalists pursuing independent journalism, the complaint stated.
At least five local media houses – PB 24, Pratibadi Kalam, Kalmer Shakti, Duranta TV and Daily Desher Katha were attacked by “BJP goons” in a planned manner on Sept 8 last year “under the leadership of senior party functionaries” because those houses were extensively covering the violence and “undemocratic activities of BJP miscreants” but criminals are still free, the AoJ complaint added.