Kerala journalists allege of torture by Mangaluru cops

Kerala journalists allege of torture by Mangaluru cops

Detention of a section of journalists from Kerala at Mangaluru has triggered strong protest in Kerala with the government and opposition strongly condemning the incident and buses of Karnataka Road Transport Corporation were blocked.

The journalists, who were released after seven hours of detention, alleged of mental torture by Mangaluru police.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala strongly condemned the detention of journalists from Kerala. The mounting pressure of the Karnataka government, Kerala Chief Minister sent a letter to his Karnataka counterpart B S Yediyurappa seeking the release of the journalists. Mr. Vijayan also alleged in a statement that it was the fascist attitude of the administration that journalists were held by the police to prevent them from working.

Eight journalists, who were detained by the Mangaluru police, alleged that they were accused of possessing fake identity cards and were subjected to mental torture and even denied food. Their cameras and mobile phones were also taken by the Mangaluru police and were not attend to attend calls. They were handed over by the Mangaluru police to the Kerala police at Talapady in Mangalore - Kasargod border by around 3.30 p.m.

"The police arrested us without any provocation. It was a sort of discrimination as representatives of national media, as well as Karnataka based media, were allowed to work. The police did not cite any reason for detaining us even as some of us were even having Kerala government accreditation," said Mujeeb Rehman, one of the journalists held in Mangaluru.

Sumesh M, another journalist who was detained, said that some police personnel were stating that Kerala media had no permission to report from Mangalore. "We were not even allowed to use the phone or to communicate with anyone," he said.

The police allegedly planted the fake news that around 50 fake journalists armed with weapons entered the Karnataka. A statement by Karnataka Home Minister Basavraj Bommai that people from neighbouring Kerala came to Mangaluru for unleashing violence.

Activists of the Kerala Students Union and Popular Front of India blocked a Bengaluru-bound bus of Karnataka road transport corporation at Thiruvananthapuram in the afternoon. Police forcibly removed the activists and allowed the bus to proceed.

Karnataka transport corporation buses were reportedly blocked at Malappuram, Wayanad and Kasargod district also.

Meanwhile, Kerala State Road Transport Corporation suspended services to Mangaluru considering the tensions.

Journalists forums in Kerala staged demonstrations at various parts of the state in protest against the detention of journalists at Mangaluru.

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