Editor of The Telegraph accuses Babul Supriyo of intimidation

In a Twitter post, union minister Babul Supriyo said that the editor had threatened to write an article against him (PTI file)

The editor of a Kolkata-based newspaper has accused Union minister Babul Supriyo of using expletives against him, while demanding an apology from the newspaper for publishing a report related to his recent scuffle with students of Jadavpur University.

In a report published on Sunday (September 22), The Telegraph’s editor R Rajagopal said that Supriyo called him at around 7:30 PM on Thursday during the evening news meeting and asked for an “amicable apology”.

When Rajagopal asked him the reason, Supriyo allegedly referred to an article published by the newspaper which claimed that the minister had “elbowed” a protester, when his visit to Jadavpur University was protested by some students, leading to clashes on September 19.

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Rajagopal denied of carrying any such article and “categorically refused to apologise”, the report stated.

“The editor told the minister firmly to send a letter or a legal notice, following which established processes could be pursued, especially in the light of the public threat by the minister to sue the newspaper,” it further said.

Also read | Minister and his remarks: How Babul Supriyo has been courting controversies

While asserting that the editor was speaking to a minister, the report added, Supriyo asked him, “Are you a gentleman?” To this, the editor reportedly replied, “I am not a gentleman, I am a journalist…. You may be a central minister but I am also a citizen of this country.”

When Supriyo pointed to the front page picture, the report said that the editor told him that the photo showed him grabbing a student by his shirt and that was what “the caption had said”. According to the report, the minister also told him that he was offended by the headline of the front page report, ‘Babull at JU’, to which the editor asked him what made him think it referred to him since the report also talked about “untamed protesters”.

“The editor made it clear no apology would be forthcoming until the minister established what mistake the newspaper had made,” the report asserted. The minister also reportedly told him that the conversation was being recorded.

At one point of time during their conversation, the report added, the minister asked the editor, “Are you sold out?” along with “expletives”. “The minister used at least one more expletive,” it said while referring to the ‘F-word’. It added that the editor told him that a report would be written about their conversation.

Also read | BJP MP Babul Supriyo says he was heckled, pulled by hair at Kolkata varsity

Later, Supriyo took to Twitter and said that the “arrogant editor” had threatened to write an article against him. “The arrogant editor of @ttindia asks me to explain what makes me ASSUME that they meant me when they print BabulL over my pix!! Hw obnoxious can one get• It is surely a paper that is SOLD to #TMchhi & Mamta’s ADs to them• Shame on them& he threats me with an article tmrw (sic),” he tweet.

He also posted a video on the microblogging site, tagging the newspaper’s official handle, which he said showed that he wasn’t elbowing anyone and rather he was being pushed and manhandled.

This comes two days after the union minister faced demonstrations from a section of students at the university on Thursday during his visit to attend an event organised by the ABVP. He had alleged that he was heckled and pulled by his hair after he was detained in the campus by the protesting students. Meanwhile, the students too had accused the minister of assaulting students and ‘slut shaming’ girls present during the demonstration.

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