Mumbai: The Mumbai Press Club on Tuesday condemned the attack on journalists, who were covering the pre-Holi celebrations at Asaram Bapu ashram in neighbouring Thane.
A group of followers of Asaram Bapu yesterday allegedly assaulted mediapersons and damaged their equipment, apparently angry at criticism over wastage of water at a pre-Holi function by the self-styled godman in drought-hit Maharashtra.
Asaram Bapu`s followers pelted stones at television news channel reporters and assaulted them, damaging their video cameras, the police said.
It was learnt that after some of Bapu`s supporters began spreading the word that the media must be taught a lesson for criticising their guru, journalists were attacked, the Press Club alleged in a statement here.
Camera persons of some TV channels, photographers and a few other journalists were injured in the attack, the statement said.
Some other activists who had gone to the venue to protest against the wastage of water were also assaulted, the statement added.
"We in Mumbai and Maharashtra have been on the receiving end of those who had scant respect for democracy and rule of law. We also have been demanding amendments in the existing laws so that attack on media persons and media houses should be compulsorily treated as non-bailable and cognisable", said Press Club Secretary Rajesh Mascarenhas.
The Press Club in the past has made representations to the Centre and Maharashtra Government and also approached the Press Council of India in this regard.