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A local court in Udaipur in Gomati district of Tripura on November 8 released all seven accused of burning down and snatching away about 52 bundles of vernacular daily Pratibadi Kalam at the bus stand on November 7.

Police had earlier arrested seven persons including BJP functionaries from Rajarbag area of Udaipur in Tripura’s Gomati district in connection with vandalising the newspaper and produced them in court. Since all the accused persons were booked in bailable sections, the court granted them bail.

Based on the FIR lodged by the editor of the newspaper against 11 miscreants, Tripura police had investigated the allegation and said local BJP leader Raju Majumdar along with Swapan Mandal, Bimal Deb, Pradip Majumdar, Subal Chandra Majumdar, Tinku Saha and Shishu Mian were the prime accused in the case.

However, police failed to arrest the absconding four others and get details of the people behind the attack on the media. The reason for snatching away and burning of newspapers was not divulged by the accused persons to police during interrogation, which has hurt the media community at large in Tripura.

Editor of the newspaper, Anal Roychoudhury, alleged that police intentionally booked the accused slapping weak sections of IPC to pave their way of getting bail even after committing such heinous crime. Moreover, other group members who had been involved in the crime were shown absconding in the police record.

Meanwhile, the apex body of Tripura media, Assembly of Journalists (AoJ), warned to launch a state-wide movement seeking assurance of the government for safety and security of media and freedom of expression.

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