Jesuit college teacher arrested in midnight raid
By Matters India reporter
Darjeeling: The West Bengal police on June 17 arrested a teacher of St. Joseph’s College North Point Darjeeling.
The arrest of Vikram Rai, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at the college, took place after the police conducted a midnight raid at his house.
Rai is also a media executive with the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.
According to family sources, the police barged into the house at around 12:30 am, and arrested Rai.
“He is not a criminal, nor is he associated with any violence, we are not sure why he was picked up like a terrorist at midnight,” his wife said clutching his two baby daughters who were witness to their father’s traumatic arrest.
Rai, who is also a journalist, has contributed articles to The Darjeeling Chronicle and Darjeeling Times, two web news portals.
He has also worked with national media houses such as NDTV, Bengali TV Channel 24Ghanta in the past, besides managing media on behalf of the GTA.
Rai is the son of current Darjeeling legislator Amar Rai, who was to return to the hill station on June 17 after meeting with Bengal Governor Keshar Nath Tripathi.
Police sources have said that Rai was “arrested in connection with a June 8 incident.
Meanwhile, an indefinite strike called in support of a separate Gorkhland state entered its sixth day on June 17.
The agitation in Darjeeling began after the West Bengal government announced making Bengali a mandatory language in schools.
Violent clashes between the security personnel, police and the protesters were reported from the area.
Women supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha on June 17 waved the national flag to welcome a group of army soldiers in Darjeeling and even offered khada (silk scarves) to some, the warm reception replacing the hostility shown to the police the previous day.
The Morcha has always welcomed the army’s presence in the hills, describing it as proof of the state government’s alleged failure in handling law and order in Darjeeling and demanding President’s rule in the region.