B'glore: News channels demand arrest of lawyers



Bangalore: Rejecting the judicial probe into the attack on journalists, private TV news channels on Saturday sought immediate arrest of the lawyers involved in assaulting mediapersons and policemen in court premises.

"We don't accept judicial probe into the incident. This is nothing but an eyewash. The government is trying to evade from its responsibilities," Suvarna News Head Vishweshwar Bhatt told reporters following a meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda at his residence.

Bhatt complained that inspite of video footage available in public domain, both police and government have failed to take action and arrest lawyers who had attacked mediapersons and policemen.

"We requested the Chief Minister to take immediate action against the guilty lawyers and bring them to book," he said.

Seeking police protection for mediapersons including cameramen and scribes at court premises, Bhatt said the Chief Minister has given an affirmative assurance in this regard.

TV9 Managing Director Mahendra Mishra said Gowda promised strict action against the culprits. "We hope it happens on ground."

Mishra said the media hoped and believed that the problem would be rectified "completely and permanently". "That is why we are here (to meet the Chief Minister)," he said.

Rejecting media apprehensions over judicial probe, Gowda said the probe is not an attempt to cover up lapses of police and government, but to come out with a permanent solution to avoid such incidents taking place at court premises.

He also said police have been instructed to take stern action and file criminal charges against the culprits without further delay.

Anant Srinivas from 'Janashri Vahini', Shivuprasad from 'Samaya', Manoj from 'Kasturi News' and Arun Kumar from 'Public TV' were part of the delegation.

At least 20 mediapersons and police personnel were injured when they were attacked by unruly lawyers who went on the rampage in the court complex premises yesterday.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Reporters Guild and print and electronic media took out a rally here and submitted a memorandum to Governor H R Bhardwaj seeking immediate arrest of the lawyers who attacked mediapersons and policemen.

Protesting mediapersons also expressed reservations over the judicial probe ordered into the incident, saying it was nothing but an "eyewash" to evade responsibility.

The mediapersons rapped both government and police for failing to arrest the guilty inspite of video footage showing lawyers going on the rampage and attacking journalists and policemen at the court premise.

"It is hard to understand why police have made no arrests so far," they said.

PTI