Chandigarh: Three FIRs have been registered in connection with the attack on media persons by police personnel in Hisar district during clashes that erupted at the ashram of controversial 'godman' Rampal in Barwala, police said on Saturday.
The information was given by Haryana DGP SN Vashist to a fact-finding committee set up by the Press Council of India.
The DGP has said that three FIRs were registered after receiving complaints from some journalists pertaining to the alleged unprovoked attack on them and damage to their equipment, the committee's convener Rajeev Ranjan Nag said during a press conference here.
Media crews, covering the stand off, had faced the brunt of the violence that left some of them injured while cameras of many private electronic news channels were broken.
At the press conference, the members of the committee also spoke to some media persons who were attacked or whose cameras etc were broken in the clashes.
Nag, who was flanked by two other members of the four- member committee, said that the DGP had assured them that the incident would be thoroughly investigated.
The DGP asserted that there may have been a mistake at individual level on the ground but there was no pre-planned move to attack the media personnel, who he said, were facilitated by the police to cover the events unfolding on the day clashes erupted between the godman's followers and the police on November 18, the committee convener said.
The members also met Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who assured them that the BJP government had taken a serious view of the incident and that the investigations would find out at what end the lapse had occurred.
"We told the Chief Minister that after the incident journalists were in a state of fear. We also told him that according to the initial feedback gathered from journalists about the incident, they were singled out by the police and badly beaten without any provocation.
"The Chief Minister was also told that had the police professionally tackled the situation, the incident could have been avoided," he said.
Nag said that Khattar told them that his government is committed to ensuring safety and security of journalists and that they need not fear anything while discharging their duties in a free and fair manner.
Nag said, "The Chief Minister told us that investigations
were underway and they will reveal at what end the lapse had occurred which led to the attack incident. He assured us that anyone found guilty will be dealt with sternly."
As far as the injuries sustained and damage to the equipment of the media persons is concerned, the CM said that he has already directed his OSDs concerned to be in touch with those affected and gather full details about it, he added.
After the alleged attack on journalists, PCI chairperson Justice Markandey Katju had set up a four-member fact finding committee consisting of Nag, Sondeep Shankar (convenor), Kosuri Amarnath and Krishna Prasad.
Barring Hyderabad-based Amarnath, the other three met the DGP here.