Just as the cops managed to control the situation in West Bengal, fresh riots broke out after on-ground news reporters of Times Now and Republic TV clashed over viewership data that was circulated on social media.
Reporters from both the channels were in WB to cover the communal riots, but soon they became a part of the riots themselves. It started with one reporter of Republic TV claiming that his channel had higher market share than all other channels.
This did not go down well with one Times Now reporter who put forth his own stats to claim that his channel was the market leader. The argument soon snowballed into a riot, with reporters from both channels resorting to stone pelting and burning down OB vans.
Cops quickly reached the scenes but the situation apparently is not under control. People from both communities, who were earlier rioting, came together to calm down the reporters but didn’t seem to have much effect. Local police too asked for additional reinforcement fearing escalation.
“We tried speaking to sane voices from both channels and tried to calm down the rioters. We are also planning to take action against those who publish such inflammatory viewership numbers on social media,” said a senior WB police official.
Mamata Bannerjee has reused to comment on the situation and called it politically motivated.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has come down heavily on the rioters in his characteristic way. Assuring citizens of prompt action to control the flare up, he unequivocally did ‘kadi ninda’ of the entire incident.