May 26: Calcutta High Court judge Justice Malay Marut Banerjee and his family had a scuffle following an altercation with a reporter and the crew of private satellite channel News 18 Asom, at Kaziranga National Park in Upper Assam’s Golaghat district this morning.
Trouble started at 8am when the TV crew was filming the judge and his family taking an elephant ride on the periphery of the national park, to which they objected.
Golaghat additional superintendent of police N. Mahatta said that after preliminary inquiry they found that an altercation broke out when the family of the judge objected to the TV crew recording their elephant ride, which led to a scuffle.
The members of the news channel and Justice Banerjee’s family have lodged separate FIRs at Kohora police outpost, under Bokakhat police station in Golaghat district, accusing each other of verbal abuse and assault.
The News 18 Asom team, including their reporter Chakra Pani Parashar, in the FIR, accused Justice Banerjee’s son and other family members of physical assault.
Justice Banerjee’s daughter Anindita, in their FIR, accused the reporter of threatening and intimidating them, besides using abusive language, physically assaulting her and attempting to outrage her modesty.
“Both sides have accused each other of attacking them. We have registered two cases in this connection and investigating the matter,” Mahatta said.
Divisional forest officer of Kaziranga, Suvasish Das said the incident occurred at Mihimukh, outside the national park.
Das said the national park is closed to visitors from May 1 and since then no visitor was granted permission to enter the park.
He said the judge and his family were staying at a private resort near the park and they were taking joyrides on elephants that belonged to the resort at Dagaon village located along the boundary of the park.
“The park authorities have nothing to do with this incident,” Das said.