Varanasi arson: Journo body demands action against policemen

A local journalists' body has asked the Uttar Pradesh administration to take action against the erring policemen in the next 48 hours for allegedly attacking media persons during the 'Pratikar Yatra' in the city.

PTI| Updated: Oct 07, 2015, 20:54 PM IST

Varanasi: A local journalists' body has asked the Uttar Pradesh administration to take action against the erring policemen in the next 48 hours for allegedly attacking media persons during the 'Pratikar Yatra' in the city.

While strongly condemning the incident, 'Kashi Patrakar Sangh' gave a memorandum to the Inspector General (Varanasi Zone), Amrendra Singh Sengar yesterday demanding immediate action against the erring policemen, who "intentionally" targeted the media during the protest march by seers in Godowlia area of the city on Monday, Sushil Mishra, executive member of the Sangh said.

Violence erupted here on October 5 during a march by seers and some other locals, when some people in the crowd resorted to stone-pelting.

Thousands of people, including seers and locals, were taking out the protest march from Townhall to Dashashwamed Ghat against the incident of lathicharge on them during their dharna staged between September 21 and 23 for preventing them from immersing Ganesha idols in Ganga.

Questioning the role of policemen in breaking the media equipment during the violence, Mishra said that the forces broke the cameras of photo journalists, thrashed them and beat them up with their lathis, despite knowing that they were media persons and were covering the march.

He said that Sengar assured them, after receiving the memorandum that justice would be done.

The memorandum was also given to the divisional commissioner and copies were forwarded to the PMO, UP Governor, Chief Minister, chief secretary, DGP, IG Varanasi zone and National Human Rights Commission, Sengar said.

The Kashi Patrakar Sangh also warned to launch a stir if their demands were not fulfilled within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Varanasi SSP Akash Kulhari defended the cops in the incident and remarked on social messaging platform 'Whatsapp' that police was not an enemy of common people but was devotedly involved in saving the life of people during the violence.

"Don't forget that 99 per cent of the force was trying to save the city. People should take note of the 15 policemen who were also injured in the violence. Police is not your enemy," he said.