Police in Kolkata have arrested a right-wing Hindutva leader after his supporters beat up media persons in Kolkata when they tried to speak to the ‘Muslim family’ the outfit claimed to have converted to Hinduism at a special event.
A senior police officer said that they had arrested Tapan Ghosh along with his three other supporters after for attacking journalists, who tried to speak to the ‘Muslim family.’
“Hindu Samhati chief Tapan Ghosh and three other activists have been arrested in the case of assault on media persons in Kolkata on Wednesday evening,” Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Crime) Praveen Kumar Tripathi was quoted as saying by IANS.
Ghosh had earlier claimed that 14 members of a Muslim family had converted to Hinduism at a special function. He was seen welcoming the ‘Muslim family’ by chanting slogans in Bengali. One of the speakers at the event was Major General (Retd) GD Bakshi, a known RSS supporter and proponent of Hindutva ideology.
State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the attack on journalists and said strict action would be taken against the offenders. Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said, “The media has every right to work independently. The way they (Hindu Samhati) attacked and heckled the media persons today is deplorable. I demand strict administrative action against the fringe elements.”
Interestingly, the state unit of the BJP distanced itself from Wednesday’s attack on media.
“Media is one of the pillars of democracy. They should not be attacked like this. Different organisations can have different philosophy. If they do not like the media’s point of view, they can ignore it but such attacks on media is condemnable,” Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was quoted by IANS.
Meanwhile, police have promised to look into the report of the so-called conversion.
“Those being converted, are they being converted willingly? The media has the right to ask. It’s shocking that reporters who went to ask that question were stopped and beaten,” poet Joy Goswami was quoted by NDTV.
CPM lawmaker Sujan Chakraborty said, “The Samhati must have been doing something really wrong. Which is why, when the press enquired about it, they became violent.”