2 Delhi-based journalists, arrested for social media post on Tripura violence, granted bail

Updated on Nov 15, 2021 06:48 PM IST

The two, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, were arrested by the Tripura police from a shelter home in Karimganj, Assam.

The bail to the two female journalists has been granted on bail bond of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>75,000 each.(iStock Photo)
The bail to the two female journalists has been granted on bail bond of 75,000 each.(iStock Photo)
Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A magistrate court in Tripura’s Gomati district, on Monday, granted bail to two Delhi-based journalists, arrested for their social media posts on the recent incidents of communal violence in the state. The two, Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, were arrested by the Tripura police from a shelter home in Karimganj, Assam, during the early hours of the day, their employer had said.

“The bail to the two female journalists has been granted on bail bond of 75,000 each. The court has asked them to appear before Kakraban Police Station where the case was registered. After questioning, they would be released,” news agency ANI quoted advocate Pijush Biswas, appearing for the duo, as saying.

“Our reporters Ms Samriddhi Sakunia and Ms Swarna Jha have been arrested by Tripura Police today at around 12.55 AM from shelter home in Assam's Karimganj after securing their transit remand. They are being taken back to Tripura where they will be produced before Udaipur magistrate court,” HW News said in a tweet. “Senior Advocate Pijush Biswas shall be personally appearing for them on behalf of HW News Network. We are pressing for immediate bail and release of our journalists,” it further said.

Also read | Two journalists reporting on Tripura violence arrested

On Sunday, HW News said that the two journalists were served FIR by officials from the Fatikroy police station in Tripura after a complaint by a local VHP member for allegedly “maligning” the image of the state and the organisation. “However, after the due legal process, both the journalists were allowed to leave the hotel,” HW News said.

The two were detained by the Assam police, on request by the Tripura Police, earlier on Sunday night on their way to Silchar airport, according to a report by news agency PTI. “We have been detained at the Nilambazar police station, Karimganj, Assam. We were informed by the officer in-charge of Nilambazar PS that SP of Gomti District gave the orders for our detention,” Sakunia tweeted on Sunday.

Earlier on November 11, Sakunia shared a video of the mosque which was reportedly affected due to violence and tweeted, “Darga Bazaar: On 19th October at around 2:30 am, some unidentified people burnt down the mosque in Darga Bazaar area. People in the neighborhood are very upset with the fact that now they don't have any place nearby to go and pray There's no other masjid nearby.”

However, VS Yadav, Director General of Police, Tripura, in a press release said that the posts by Sakunia were not true and promoted a sense of hatred between communities, according to a report by PTI.

“In this social media post, she posted a video of her visit to the half burned prayer hall damaged by mischievous fire in the house of one Rahamat Ali of Hurijala, PS Kakraban on 11/11/2021 to claim that one holy Quran was burned in the incident occurred on the night of 19/10/2021 which refers to Kakraban PS Case No. 74/2021 U/S 436 IPC. This is contrary to the findings so far revealed in the course of investigation as the presence of no such damaged books/documents was brought to the notice of investigating officer and fire service staff who extinguished the fire,” PTI reported quoting an excerpt from the police statement.

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