Police Friday detained for questioning a Japanese journalist and a local photo-journalist, who were earlier held by Maoists for several hours in West Bengal's West Midnapore district.
The journalists, who went into a Maoist-dominated village in the district without informing police, were brought to Midnapore police lines in the district for interrogation.
"We are interrogating the duo to know details about the Maoists and also about the purpose of their visit," Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operations) Aneesh Sarkar said.
According to police sources, the two - Takechi Sakuraga and Sujit Sharma - went to Modhupur village near Salboni - where Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporter Nalini Mahato was killed by suspected Maoists Thursday night.
The two were first restrained by members of the tribal body Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) and taken into the deep forest where Maoists questioned them.
"The duo reported that soon after they reached the village, PCAPA members encircled them and asked them about the purpose of their visit. They asked them why the two had not contacted their local leaders before coming to the village and asked them to furnish their identity cards and other documents, suspecting they were police spies," a police officer said.
After the arrest of PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato in October by the state police's criminal investigation department officers in guise of journalists, the PCAPA members do not allow the entry of unknown journalists in their area.
"As the Japanese journalist showed much curiosity and expressed his desire to meet the Maoists leaders, he was taken into deep forest where a few people equipped with sophisticated guns came and started interrogating him at gun point," a police officer interrogating the duo in Midnapore police line said.
The duo was later released after repeated requests were made to the senior PCAPA leaders by the local media persons.
Police were informed about the incident and Sakuraga and Sharma detained by the police at Changshole near Pirakata and then brought to Midnapore.
"We came to know that Sakuraga came to Midnapore Wednesday to meet with the Maoist leaders and he had already visited several tribal villages. Though he claims to be a journalist, he had arrived here on a tourist visa, so we are investigating into the matter," the officer said.
Police have found foreign links with the Maoists on several occasions earlier. A number of Filipinos and two German nationals were detained earlier by police during their visit to Lalgarh.