Zee News anchor Sudhir Chaudhary has shockingly claimed that Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has filed an FIR against him, the channel and two other correspondents over news coverage in the state.
As per Chaudhary, Mamata booked them for "covering Dhulagarh riots" which took place in Howrah district.
Chaudhary wrote a Facebook post, in which he claimed that along with him and the channel, a 25-year-old Zee News reporter Pooja Mehta and cameraperson Tanmay Mukherjee have also been booked. He said the FIR has been filed under non-bailable sections.
It's not clear what prompted the Bengal government to book them, but an alleged copy of the FIR (in Bengali) was shared by BJP leader Satish Upadhyay.
What are Dhulagarh riots?
On December 13, Dhulagarh in West Bengal's Howrah district witnessed celebrations by both the Hindu and the Muslim communities. While Muslims were celebrating Milad-un-Nabi (birthday of Prophet Muhammad), the Hindu community was observing Margashirsha Purnima, as per this DNA report. Communal clashes erupted and houses and shops were burnt and ransacked. As per this NDTV report, violence peaked on December 14 and the police had to rush in to control bombing and arson, which was allegedly done by people brought in from other areas.
The area has since been simmering with a large contingent of police and Rapid Action Force being deployed. It continues to be under prohibitory orders.
On December 24, a BJP parliamentary delegation comprising MPs Jagdambika Pal and Satyapal Singh (former police commissioner of Mumbai) along with state president Dilip Ghosh were stopped by the Mamata government from entering the violence-torn area just a kilometre away from it.
There has been no comment so far from Mamata or any official from the West Bengal police till this report was filed.