The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked by reports that six journalists were seriously injured, with one losing both eyes and another in a critical condition, after police staged an “action replay” of diffusing mines planted by Maoist terrorists in the early hours of September 21 at Lalgarh, West Bengal, India.
According to the West Bengal Union of Journalists (WBUJ), the incident was a publicity stunt which went horribly wrong, with two police officers killed, another two injured and six journalists hospitalised.
Someswar Mondal, photographer with the Ananda Bazar Patrika lost both his eyes, Debnath Maity a Bartaman photographer is fighting for his life in hospital, and the other four journalists Rana Das, Bartaman, Sanjib Das, Kolkata TV, Arun Chakravorty, Pratidin, and Mustarul Haque of ETV, are still hospitalised but in a stable condition.
“This is a horrible tragedy that should not have been allowed to happen,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
“The police must be held responsible for this irresponsible act which has left six of our colleagues seriously injured, and one unable to work again,” Warren said.
“This is a further indication that more needs to be done to provide adequate insurance and safety training for journalists in India,” he said.
The WBUJ is demanding compensation for the injured journalists.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries