The Telegraph
Wednesday , April 30 , 2014
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Spot the differences, in treatment and in the message

Both Saradha chief Sudipta Sen and Trinamul MP Kunal Ghosh are in judicial custody in connection with cases related to the Saradha scandal. But events that took place on Monday and Tuesday illustrate how Sen was allowed to speak when his utterance suited the ruling party and Ghosh was sought to be muzzled when what he was about to say was inconvenient.

Sen said : I didn’t buy it (Mamata Banerjee’s painting)


Date: April 28, Monday

Place: Council House Street, where the office of Justice Shyamal Sen Commission is located

Escorted by: Calcutta police

Sudipta Sen is ringed by police. He is only surrounded, not held by the hand, pushed or shoved as he had been so many times in the past few months. Waiting reporters are surprised as they find they could walk close to him and hold their recorders near his mouth.
The questions flow. So do the answers. The police are in no hurry and they allow the Saradha boss to pause for around half-a-minute to reply to the reporters. It looks almost like an interview. Sen stops, speaks and then steps into the van by himself. (Earlier, the police would often cordon off reporters and form a human chain around Sen.)

A reporter: How much was the painting bought for?

Sen: Na, chhabi kono takai kena hoyni (No, the painting was not bought for money)

Second reporter: Who bought the picture?

Sen said: Ami jani na chhabi-ta ke kinechhe (I don’t know who bought the picture)

Third reporter: Didn’t you buy the picture?

Sen: Na, ami kini ni (No, I didn’t buy it)

As Sen walks, a policeman is overheard saying, possibly to the reporters: “Apnara side diye katha bolun.” (Please talk from the side.)

Ghosh said: There’s no similarity between what he (Sen) had told me and what has appeared in newspapers


Date: April 29, Tuesday

Place: Bidhannagar court complex

Escorted by: Bidhannagar police

Between 10.15am and 3.30pm, Ghosh tries at least six times to speak to reporters. The police eventually send word for additional forces. Ghosh’s effort begins in the flight of steps leading to the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court. Five policemen are escorting Ghosh.

“I will be held back, I won’t be allowed to speak,” Ghosh tells reporters who are throwing
questions at him.

Ghosh: On 10, 11 and 12 April, I…. He is cut short by a tall policeman who shields Kunal from the cameras.

Ghosh: I will not go anywhere…. Allow me to speak.

Ghosh sits on the steps.

The policemen move aside for a few seconds. Ghosh: I was at the central jail on last
April 10, 11 and 12…. An inspector butts in and says: “Let’s go... this is not press briefing.…
Don’t do this, please.”

Ghosh screams: Allow me to speak a word or two with them.

The police do not relent and they form a ring around Ghosh. They start pulling him up.

Ghosh: On April 10, 11…. Tell your government that this can’t happen. You are abusing me by holding me back and then you don’t allow me to speak.

A reporter: “Kunal-da… did Sudipta buy the paintings?

Ghosh (to the policemen): Don’t touch me. This is outside the courtroom.

Ghosh looks down at the reporters and says: On April 10, April 11 and April 12, I was at Alipore jail with Sudipta Sen. I have asked several questions to Sudipta Sen, including those relating to the paintings. There is no similarity between what he had told me and what has appeared in today’s newspapers.

The police take Ghosh into the courtroom.

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