Lucknow: The vice-chairman of Uttar Pradesh Khadi & Gram Udyog Board was sacked from the post on Tuesday after he was detained by the police for allegedly assaulting a photo journalist in Kaisarbagh area of the city.
Natwar Goel, a Samajwadi Party member who enjoyed the status of a Minister of State as the Board’s vice-chairman, was detained after an FIR lodged by the photo journalist accusing him and his supporters of manhandling him.
SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said state party president and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sacked Goel from the post and also from the party on charges of indiscipline.
Senior Superintendent of Police RK Chaturvedi said, “An FIR has been registered on the complaint lodged by the photo journalist and the accused is being questioned to verify the incident. If verified he would be arrested.”
In his complaint, the journalist, Ashutosh Gupta, alleged that he was assaulted by Goel and his supporters when he had gone to take photographs of an alleged unauthorised under construction building being constructed after razing down an aided college. “When I was returning after taking photographs of the construction work, Goel came along with his security personnel and dragged me to his cabin where I was assaulted,” Gupta alleged.
He alleged that Goel also threatened him of dire consequences. Goel, however, refuted the charges.
Meanwhile, the UP Accredited Journalists’ Association has condemned the incident and demanded action against Goel.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress also attacked the party for the incident. “This is not the first incident since SP came to power. The party leaders and office-bearers have been indulging into such incidents,” BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathit said.