FIR against journalist Sudhir Chaudhary

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Howrah: It seems that the West Bengal Government is furious, seeking revenge against the Zee group for covering the Dhulagarh riots. Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary revealed on his Twitter account that an FIR with non-bailable sections was filed against him and reporter Pooja Mehta for covering the riots in West Bengal.

Sudhir Chaudhary
Hindu properties allegedly set on fire by Muslims [Cached image from a video now removed from YouTube]
They had reported about the riots that had broken out in Howrah’s district Dhulagarh. While the Hindus were celebrating Margashirsha Poornima on 13 December, according to the channel, some Muslim inhabitants started interfering in the process by organising their own procession and relaying its proceedings through loudspeakers.

The procession was taken out to commemorate Milad-un-Nabi, which they had already celebrated on 12 December, declared as a public holiday. Within a short time, Muslims resorted to arson and rioting. The locals of Dhulagarh said that the people from outside had come for rioting.

सिर्फ़ News, however, found out that the complaint was registered by a certain Chiranjit Das. While the Editors’ Guild of India had condemned the decision passed against NDTV in November in the wake of the Pathankot attack for airing sensitive content related to an Army base, it has been silent on this issue.

A section of the Twitterati reacted to the development with kind words for the reporters Sudhir Chaudhary and Pooja Mehta, and hoped that they would continue to report the events in an unbiased manner. They asked how many so-called honest reporters would stand with Zee News.

https://twitter.com/AsYouNotWish/status/813645916636934144

Another user appreciated the reporters for covering the riots in West Bengal and said that it was the reason for the retaliatory action by the West Bengal government

It is to be noted that while the Dhulagarh riots were being widely reported on Social Media with locals sharing pictures and videos of riots happening, the mainstream media, including Bengali language newspapers and television channels, chose to remain silent on the issue while dismissing the riots as mere rumours.

Previously, Mamata Banerjee had called the one-day ban on NDTV a result of ‘Emergency-like attitude’. If Bengal Police takes action on the FIR, it will smack of double standards.