Police in BJP-ruled arrest two women journalists, Editors Guild of India condemn action, demands their release

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Police in the BJP-ruled Tripura have arrested two women journalists covering the ongoing violence against Muslims and their places of worship in the state. The arrest of journalists Samriddhi K Sakunia and Swarna Jha has caused a huge public outcry with the Editors Guild of India demanding their immediate release.

The Editors Guild of India tweeted, “Editors Guild condemns this action and demands their immediate release and restoration of their freedom to travel.”

Earlier Sakunia had taken to social media to inform how she was detained by the Assam Police along with her colleague Jha. She tweeted, “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 also informed how the Tripura Police had booked them under IPC sections 120(B) and 153(A)/ 504 after the Hindu militant organisation VHP lodged a complaint against them.

Both journalists, working for HW News, were in Tripura to report on the violence against Muslims and the burning of mosques and their properties. The violence against Muslims broke out in response to attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh during their festival.

The Tripura Police have been filing cases by slapping sedition charge against anyone, who’s found to be reporting on the violence against Muslims in the state.

Reacting to the arrests of two women journalists, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “The BJP system is busy killing the profession of journalism. But when has the truth stopped in the face of a lie? #Tripura #NoFear.”

On 11 November, Sakunia had bravely reported how a mosque was burnt in Tripura with her video also showing the burnt pages of Holy Quran.

In another post, Sakunia had shared a video of a vandalised mosque as she wrote, “Set on fire. The locals who visited the mosque today for the first time after the incident took place told me that it was the VHP members who after the rally visited this mosque and vandalised everything.”

Locals had told her, “They didn’t leave anything. It’s us who has remade this place.”