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Journalists allege assault by CPI-M cadres in Bengal

Kolkata, Sep 3 At least six journalists were allegedly assaulted Friday by a group of armed Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, police said. However, the district CPI-M leadership denied the charges.

Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) At least six journalists were allegedly assaulted Friday by a group of armed Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadres in West Bengal's West Midnapore district, police said. However, the district CPI-M leadership denied the charges.

According to the police, the CPI-M activists allegedly damaged the cameras and mobile phones and snatched other accessories of the journalists.

A senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said: 'The journalists and photo-journalists of two national news channels and one daily newspaper were beaten up severely at Buripala near Pirakanta of Lalgarh area. They were rushed to Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, where the condition of one is said to be critical.'

It was learnt that they had gone to Trinamool Congress local leader Arati Baskey's house in Choto Kalshibangha of Lalgarh.

'Baskey's house was allegedly damaged by the CPI-M activists and while returning from her house, the group of journalists was attacked by the cadres in Buripala area,' he added.

The district CPI-M leadership, however, refuted the allegation levelled against their cadres.

West Midnapore Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operation) Aneesh Sarkar said: 'We have heard about the incident. The journalists have been asked to lodge a complaint.'

'After receiving the complaint, we would initiate an investigation into the matter and the miscreants would be arrested,' he added.

The Trinamool Congress district secretary Pranab Basu said: 'The attack on the journalists at Buripala proves the existence of the armed CPI-M cadres in Junglemahal (Maoists affected forested areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia).'

'The journalists were attacked to prevent them from publishing the story about Trinamool supporters being attacked by the CPI-M armed cadres,' Basu added.

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