Two Indian Journalists' Detention Triggers Public Outcry

Published November 16th, 2021 - 10:19 GMT
Samriddhi K.Sakunia and Swarna Jha
Samriddhi K.Sakunia and Swarna Jha were harassed and detained for their media coverage in Tripura. (Twitter)

For the past few days, social media platforms in India have been flooded with calls to release two journalists who have been detained by authorities following their coverage of communal violence in the Tripura state to the northeast of India.

Samriddhi K.Sakunia and Swarna Jha who work for the HW digital news network were arrested by the Tripura Police in Assam last Monday, triggering online calls for authorities to stop harassing journalists from doing their jobs across the country.

In an official statement by the Tripura Police, Sakunia and Jha were accused of posting "fake news" on social media, after a complaint was filed against them by a supporter of the right-wing Vishva Hindu Parishad political party.

Sakunia and Jha have been accused of inciting religious tensions by posting "unverified "news that a mosque was burnt in Gomati district and a copy of the Quran was damaged, further angering residents and inflaming tensions in the area.

In response to the journalists' detention, the Indian Women’s Press Corps released an official statement calling on Indian authorities to "release them and to allow them to do their job without fear".

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