Protest against remarks made on FM channel turns violent
KOLKATA: A clash broke out in Siliguri on Friday between the fans of Prashant Tamang, recently selected Indian Idol, and local residents during a march protesting alleged derogatory remarks against him by a radio jockey of a Delhi-based private frequency-module channel.
Later Mr. Tamang, who won a television channel-sponsored nationwide “talent-hunt” for crooners, appealed to his supporters through a local television channel not to resort to violence and to maintain peace in the region. He said action had been sought against the FM channel.
Vehicles, including police jeeps, were set ablaze, shops attacked and brickbats exchanged between the warring groups forcing the police to fire three rounds after bursting of teargas shells and a baton-charge failed to quell the disturbances. Several persons, including some police officials, were injured in the violence.
The trouble, which was sparked off by an alleged attack on a woman by some in the procession, threatened to snowball into a riot. The demonstrators, who were on their way to the office of the sub-divisional office to submit a memorandum demanding action against the radio channel, allegedly prevented an ambulance headed for a nearby hospital from passing through. The Army was called in to help the police in restoring normality in the town. There will be a flag march in some of the sensitive areas, a senior police official said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said the situation was tense and his government would initiate legal action against the channel and was in touch with the Home Ministry.
Prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr.PC were promulgated in the town. Additional police forces have been rushed to the area where the Rapid Action Force has been deployed.
The State police administration decided to send a team of officials to New Delhi to investigate allegations against the radio jockey, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said here.
Bandhs were called and rallies held in the Darjeeling hills over the past few days against the comment made earlier this week even before the jubilation following Mr. Tamang’s victory had subsided.