On Friday, Calcutta High Court granted bail to Shafikul Islam, Editor of Arambagh TV, his wife, and reporter who were arrested last month.
Two Arambagh TV journalists were recently arrested by the police, allegedly for extortion. The police had arrested Shafikul Islam who heads the channel, and Suraj Ali Khan who was a reporter there, on July 2.
As per the HT report, the police had barged into his home, forcing entry through the roof door, before arresting him. He had been with his family at the time.
The reporters in question have conducted several exposés in recent times, revealing that the police stations were allegedly giving money to clubs in April. Since then, the ruling party has apparently been angry with the channel and its reporters. In another report they had said spoken about extortion by the police.
More recently, they had also covered the alleged misappropriation of relief funds that were intended for the families of those affected by Cyclone Amphan.
Shafikul Islam has received bail from the High Court for two cases. However, this case being more recent, he had been unable to visit the court.
The opposition BJP has been vociferous in its protests against the arrest and 'crackdown' on the channel and its reporters, even staging a protest recently. West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar too has spoken out about the situation recently, stating that "if journalists are silenced, so is democracy".
"Safiqul Islam arrest (Arambagh TV) for expose of govt in distributing public money to non-existent clubs raises fundamental issue of freedom of media," he had written.