8 detained scribes & camera crew from Kerala released

8 detained scribes & camera crew from Kerala released

Representative Image

 Eight journalists and camera crew of Kerala-based TV channels, who had interviewed relatives of those killed in the December 19 police firing during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, were released seven hours after being detained by police in front of the Government Wenlock hospital on Friday, sources said.

The scribes were taken to Thalappady bordering Kerala from Mangaluru south police station where they were kept till late in the afternoon, they said.

Journalists from News 24, Media One, Asianet, News 18 and Mathrubhumi were prevented from reporting in Mangaluru, taken into custody and kept in a van for three hours after which they were taken to Mangaluru south police station, the sources said.

Cameras and mobile phones seized from them were returned after they were taken to Thalappady. A top police official told the scribes that only those with Karnataka accreditation should report from there. "No, that is not accreditation. Not government-issued. Out!," he told them.

The news channels had interviewed relatives of the two men killed on Thursday during the protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Mangaluru Police Commissioner P S Harsha had earlier issued a statement, saying that a few people did not have accreditation cards issued by any authority and were being questioned.

Soon after their release, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru that police had questioned some people in the backdrop of the violence in Mangaluru and on coming to know that they were reporters, were escorted till the Kerala border.

He described as far from the truth, reports that 30 to 40 journalists had been detained. Karnataka Home Minister Baswaraj Bhomai in Bengaluru blamed the violence in the city on groups from Kerala. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan strongly condemned the detention and said the onslaught on media freedom was indicative of a fascist mind set.