A policeman has been suspended for his alleged involvement in an attack on journalists on Tuesday – an incident that had been described as “staged” by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Governor M. K. Narayanan on Thursday condemned the brutal assault on journalists during the all-India general strike by several trade unions. The journalists had gone to Jadavpur area in the south of the city to report an attack on an office of the local zonal committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) when they were beaten up by persons stated to be supporters of the Trinamool Congress.

Tarak Das, a constable of Metiabruz police station, was suspended for his alleged involvement in the attack. No action has yet been taken against the others involved in the incident. The incident was caught on camera.

‘Incident staged'

Ms. Banerjee, however, had denied the incident claiming that it had been “staged” and that journalists were “lying”.

“Journalists should not be beaten up, why only on bandh days….Why should anyone be beaten up,” asked Mr. Narayanan.

In a lighter vein, he added that “there have been occasions on which we all feel beaten up by journalists.”

Mr. Narayanan emphasised that this is a free country and people are entitled “to make what observations of things they like without being beaten up.”

He also commented on the recent incident in which Ms. Banerjee's nephew Akash Banerjee manhandled two traffic policemen.

“Quite clearly Akash should not have hit a policeman, particularly one in uniform,” Mr. Narayanan said, adding that this is not the first time that such an incident is being reported.

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