West Bengal: Journalists 'attacked' as violence breaks out during civic polls

Violence was reported in the state on Sunday while voting took place for elections to 108 municipalities.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Several journalists were reportedly among those attacked and injured as violence broke out in West Bengal on Sunday, when voting took place for elections to 108 municipalities across 20 districts.

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According to the Hindu, "at least four journalists working for local television networks including video journalists sustained injuries when they were attacked". This included media persons who were trying to "record irregularities and violence" in North Dumdum Municipality in Kolkata and in Kanthi in Purba Medinipur district.

The Indian Express said a reporter and cameraperson with a private Bengali news channel were "assaulted" in North Dum Dum, while "journalists of other media organisations also came under an attack in Dum Dum".

Other reports of violence included attacks on EVMs, "attacks" on opposition candidates in polling booths, and "intimidation" allegedly by members of the Trinamool Congress. The BJP has called for a bandh in the state and asked the state election commission and governor to declare the polls "null and void".

"Several of our agents and candidates were beaten up. Even voters and journalists were thrashed," state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya was quoted as saying. "The entire constitutional machinery, along with the law-and-order situation, has collapsed. We had no choice but to call the strike."

Indian Express reported that the state Congress president supported the strike, while the Left Front has announced a "sit-in outside the office of the state election commission".

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