Union Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee has alleged “attempt on her life” when she came out from a meeting at the residence of artist Suvaprasanna at Salt Lake in east Kolkata during wee hours of Wednesday. While a complaint was lodged with the local police station on behalf of Trinamool Congress, a private Bengali television channel has lodged a counter complaint stating that the minister abused the crew and instigated a group of Trinamool Congress supporters to assault them.
Purnendu Bose, president of Trinamool Congress’ trade union wing filed the complaint on behalf of the railway minister with the Bidhannagar East police station..
Mamata Banerjee alleged that the streetlights at BH Block at Salt Lake, where she was visiting, were deliberately switched off when the incident happened. A hired car with a press sticker followed her and tried to dash against her vehicle. She said that she had gone to Salt Lake to attend a post Durga puja get together at painter Suvaprasanna’s house.
A counter complaint was lodged against the railway minister by the TV channel, “24 Ghonta” stating that the crew was abused and assaulted by Trinamool Congress activists. The television crew had only gone to cover the railway minister’s visit to the painter’s house.
The incident happened around 1-30 am and continued till 5.30 am. The crew members, three of them, were taken to the Bidhannagar east police station based on the railway minister’s allegation. Later the higher officials of the TV channel came to the police station to free the crew. At that time they also filed a counter complaint.
Anjay Roy, Chief Reporter of the channel condemned the incident and said, “all journalists should come together and protest against the incident. Our lady reporter was manhandled, her bag was snatched away and she was not even allowed to make a phone call to office to report about her distress.” Roy added, “The video camera was also smashed and this entire incident happened in the presence of the union railway minister and the union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy. Roy used foul language against us. Our crew was only standing on the road to cover the minister’s visit. ”
The officers at the police station preferred to keep mum. Rahul Srivastav, Superintendent of Police, North 24 Parganas district said, “I have called for a report from the inspector-in-charge of the police station. I will send it to the state government. I cannot comment on anything else”