Kerala CM writes to Karnataka CM on journos detention

The Kerala government on Friday expressed "deep concern" and sought the intervention of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in the matter of detention of scribes from the state in Karnataka, where two people were killed in police firing during anti-CAA protests in Mangaluru. In a letter to Yediyurappa, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought his attention to the "unfortunate incident" in which media persons on duty were restrained by police authoritites in Mangaluru.

"Journalists from Kerala are also part of the media contingent whose movements have been restricted... The Government of Kerala expresses its deep concern at this turn of events. I request your kind intervention for issuing directions to the police authorities so that the media persons are freed at the earliest and be allowed to discharge their duties in a free manner without being intimidated," Vijayan said in the letter.

The Karnataka police later released the journalists after seven hours of custody, sources said.

The scribes were transported in a police van and dropped at the state border. Earlier in a statement, he condemned the detention and said the onslaught on media freedom was a "fascist mindset." "I strongly condemn the attempt to portray journalists as troublemakers and their news gathering equipment as weapons.

Onslaught on media freedom is a fascist mindset. There must be strong public sentiment against this," Vijayan said. He also said the state government would make all efforts to ensure the safety of journalists from Kerala travelling to Mangaluru for reporting.

Earlier, State DGP Loknath Behara told the media that he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart asking the official to ensure the release of the journalists detained. Police in Karnataka detained some Kerala-based media persons early on Friday in front of Government Wenlock hospital, where the post-mortem of the two deceased was underway. Over 150 journalists from various media houses at Thiruvanathapuram braved rains and protested the CAA and detention of their colleagues.

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