Five journalists of leading news channels were arrested at Jhargram in West Midnapore district on Sunday for their alleged involvement in a brawl with locals, reportedly with Trinamool Congress workers, in which one person was seriously injured.
The incident happened on May 20 night, a day after the state Assembly elections were out, when some locals “taunted” a few local journalists from the area at a tea stall over the roles of their channels in the just-concluded West Bengal Assembly elections that led to a quarrel between them, a senior officer of Jhargram Police said. The quarrel soon turned into a brawl and one person was seriously injured and taken to a local hospital, he said.
“On the basis of the FIR lodged by the locals in Jhargram police station area, we have arrested five journalists on Sunday in connection with the incident,” Jhargram SP Sukhendu Hira said.
The five, charged under various sections of Indian Penal Code, were granted bail when produced at a local court in Jhargram, the SP said. On the political identity of the persons with whom the journalists had a fight, Hira said, “We are unsure to which political party they belong to but all are from the locality”.
The condition of the injured, whose femur bone was fractured in the incident, was “quite serious” and was shifted to a hospital in Cuttack, in neighbouring Odisha.
In a related development, aggrieved locals had yesterday “attacked” houses of the journalists for their alleged role in the incident as report of the worsening health condition of the injured person spread, another police official of Jhargram said.
Asked whether the journalists have lodged any complaint after their houses were “attacked”, the officer said, “We have not received anything from them. But we mediated between them and the journalists for peace. If needed we will talk to both sides again.”