During a recent election gathering in West Bengal a friend of mine, New York based photojournalist Jay Mandal got beaten up by some goons…He was covering a meeting convened by the BJP candidate from Tamluk, Rajyashree Chowdhury…Nandigram is part of the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency…
Shortly after the meeting got underway, a group of men on motorcycles wearing Trinamool Congress headbands attacked the rally. On seeing Mandal photographing the attack, they pounced on him, snatched his cameras, smashed them and injured him badly
“Two youths walked towards the dais and jumped onto it. My flash gun alerted one of them. He came to me and gave me a big shove. I fell into a drain with my two cameras. Under the impact, one of them broke. The other was also badly damaged. I lost my glasses and without them, I am nearly blind,” said Mandal.
“The youth pulled my hair and beat me up mercilessly. When I fell to the ground, he kicked me. I suffered severe bruises on my elbows, wrist, knee and thigh.”
The story seemed bizarre when I read it…Jay Mandal getting beaten up? How could any person want to beat up this mild mannered, diminutive, apolitical person? What has become of our country?