Calcutta High Court order to DGP on journalist
Calcutta High Court on Friday asked director general of police to furnish with it in three months a report detailing the reason for the arrest of a journalist who had “exposed” alleged corruption by Trinamul Congress leaders and supporters at Arambagh in Hooghly.
Justice Jaymalya Bagchi expressed surprise and concern over the arrest of Safiqul Islam, a journalist and the owner of web channel Arambagh TV, his wife and a cameraman.
The trio were arrested soon after a realtor had lodged a complaint at Arambagh police station, alleging that the journalist had demanded money. According to the FIR, Safiqul and his cameraman had threatened the realtor that the channel would telecast news items to malign him.
Safiqul’s wife is the co-owner of the channel.
Justice Bagchi directed the DG to assign a senior police officer for the inquiry in detail, prepare a report and then place it before the court in three months.
“This is a serious issue. How can police harass and arrest a person in such a way?” Justice Bagchi asked the state government’s lawyer, B. Chowdhury, before passing his order.
Safiqul moved the court seeking bail and an order asking the police to quash the proceedings drawn against him. The court on Friday first heard the plea for quashing the case against the journalist.
Moving the petition, senior advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya claimed the police had framed false charges against his client as he had been regularly publishing news exposing corruption of ruling party leaders and supporters.
“My client was being threatened for a long time both by the police and ruling party for telecasting news items on misdeeds and corruption. So, they framed a false case, raided his house on the same night and took him and other members of his family to the police station,” Bhattacharyya said.
The court will hear Safiqul’s bail application on Monday.