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Calcutta HC grants bail to scribe arrested from Sandeshkhali, raps police for being hyper-active

Kolkata, Feb 22 2024-

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday granted bail to Santu Pan, a reporter working with the news channel Republic Bangla who was arrested by the police while he was reporting from the strife-ridden Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.

While granting bail to Santu Pan, the single- judge bench of Justice Kaushik Chanda also rapped the police over the latter’s hyper-active approach in arresting the journalist while he was filing reports ground report from Sandeshkhali.

Justice Kaushik Chanda observed that from the FIR, it seems that the charges are unreasonable and motivated.

He also observed that from the FIR, it is easily understandable what can be the secret statement of the local woman on the basis of which Pan was arrested.

Justice Kaushik Chanda observed that it is unfortunate the police are arresting journalists when the prime accused behind the attack has managed to remain absconding.

“The entire sequence of events has turned into a joke. Police must do what they are supposed to,” Justice Kaushik Chanda observed.

Santu Pan’s counsel Mahesh Jethmalani argued that Pan is not the only journalist to face “administrative harassment”. He pointed out that a senior journalist of another popular television station has also been issued notice under Section 41 A and has been asked to appear at Sandeshkhali Police Station.

Leader of the opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari has expressed satisfaction over the granting of bail to Pan and said that the fourth pillar of democracy has been set at liberty owing to the gracious intervention of the High Court.

The Basirhat SP had claimed on Monday that Santu Pan was arrested following a complaint of trespassing filed against him and his cameraman by a local woman. (Agency)

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