TC men held for Maoist link, scribes hurt in baton charge

Midnapore, Jan 31 (PTI) Two inmates of a Trinamool-runrelief camp here were arrested by joint security forces foralleged links with Maoists after which party workers blockedroads and were baton charged by police resulting in the injuryof 11 people, including five journalists.

The arrested inmates of the relief camp, located inthe guest house ''Rajiv Gandhi Puro Nilay'', were identified asAsim Mahato and Amiya Mahato who allegedly had a hand in theMaoist attack on a camp of the Eastern Frontier Rifles atSilda, near here, on February 15, 2010 in which 24 jawans werekilled.

Alleging arbitrary action of the joint forces,Trinamool Congress activists blocked the station road in thetown, stalling traffic movement for hours.

They claimed that the two were not at all connectedto Maoists and that the joint forces personnel ransacked thecamp and assaulted women inmates during the raid.

Police said five journalists, including one belongingto a Bengali TV channel, were injured in the melee whileTrinamool Congress protesters put up a road blockade on thestation road.

Perturbed at the report of the scribes being injuredin the police action, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjeeexpressed regret and ordered an inquiry.

In a statement in Kolkata, Bhattacharjee said that thepolice faced obstacles while they had gone to arrest twoaccused Maoists at a municipality-run guest house, where theTrinamool relief camp was set up, and then resorted to batoncharge.

"To control the situation, the police used batons andsome journalists were injured as I have come to know. It isregrettable that journalists were injured and I have asked thepolice to probe the incident," he said.

He said appropriate action will follow the inquiryreport, adding his government will arrange for treatment ofthe injured journalists.

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