Cops manhandle mediapersons in Kozhikode

Cops manhandle mediapersons in Kozhikode

Cops manhandle mediapersons in Kozhikode

Tension prevailed at the Kozhikode Town police station on Saturday after three members of a television news channel crew, including a senior reporter, were taken into custody for “defying a ban” on mediapersons entry to the judicial first class magistrate court.

After widespread criticism and intervention of the police top brass and leaders, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Sub-Inspector (SI) Vimod Kumar, who arrested the mediapersons, was asked to take leave from duty. However, when the channel crew members were at the station to seek the release of an OB van seized by the police, the SI tried to manhandle them and locked them up again. More protests by journalists followed at the station, leading the state police chief Loknath Behra to suspend the official.

The trouble began after an argument Kumar had with the mediapersons who were at the court to cover proceedings of the ice cream parlour sex racket case. The SI claimed that since the arrested Maoist leader Roopesh was being produced at the court, mediapersons and media vehicles were not allowed in the court premises in adherence with new security guidelines.

Courting trouble

Saturday’s incident comes days after a series of clashes between lawyers and journalists in Kerala, DHNS reports.

The first round of clashes took place in the high court premises in Kochi on July 20 in connection with media reports on the arrest of government pleader Dhanesh Mathew Manjooran in a molestation case.

The confrontation also snowballed into reported restrictions on media entry to courts. The High Court Registrar General, however, on Saturday clarified that there was no ban on journalists from reporting court proceedings.