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Court sends journalist to 3-day police custody over alleged defamatory post against Tripura CM

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Press Trust of India Agartala
A local court on Monday remanded a journalist, arrested on defamation and other charges for sharing and commenting on a Facebook post related to Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb and his wife, to three days police custody.
West Tripura Chief Judicial Magistrate Sarmistha Mukherjee remanded freelance journalist Saikat Talapatra to police custody for three days. The investigating official had sought his custody for five days.
A group of people threw eggs and shoes at Talapatra while he was being produced in the court.
"He was charged with criminal conspiracy and defamation. He was also booked under provisions of the Information Technology Act," Public Prosecutor in-charge Bidyut Sutradhar told reporters.
Talapatra, who had earlier worked with several TV channels, will be produced before the court again on May 1.
His counsel Purusuttom Roy Barman said, "I am surprised that he was sent to police custody. There is actually no case against him," he said.
Tripura Human Rights Organisation executive member Kaushik Nath told reporters that the security personnel have "failed" to protect an accused inside a court, after the crowd threw eggs and shoes at the journalist.
"We condemn the attack on Saikat Talapatra inside the court. He is still an accused and the court is yet to pronounce him guilty. The attack on him inside the court complex is illegal," Nath said.
Talapatra was arrested on Sunday from the Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Airport here.
A police constable was also arrested for sharing the same Facebook post, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Puneet Rastogi had said on Sunday. The constable has secured bail from a North Tripura district.
The two were arrested for sharing the Facebook post by one Anupam Paul, against whom a case has already been registered.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 10:00 PM IST

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