Nagercoil/Thiruvanthapuram, Jul 15 (): It took three battered skulls of journalists for the Oomen Chandy ministry to order an inquiry into the CSI controlled college in Karakonam on taking capitation fees for admission. Three reporters including a reporter and cameraman of Asianet News were beaten up at the LMS compound of the CSI Church in Palayam in two separate incidents today.
Reporter Sharath Krishnan and video journalist Ayyappan of the Asianet News were attacked when they reached the LMS compound to cover a group of protestors who were there to meet the Bishop and hand over a complaint regarding the irregularities noticed in admissions at the Karakkonam medical college. The injured have been admitted to the medical college hospital.
Asianet had aired the irregularities detected in the college. The attackers also snatched the videotape belonging to the Asianet team. Media persons who assembled in the LMS compound to protest the attack were assaulted by cops. Marshal V Sebastian, Chief Reporter of India Vision sustained head injuries following the attack.
As the news spread, several journalists reached the church compound. As they were moving towards the office of the church, another TV journalist, Marshall V.Sebastian, of India Vision TV was hit on the head by a policeman’s baton in the commotion. Leader of Opposition V.S.Achuthanandan also arrived at the spot and condemned the assaults.
“It is most unfortunate that journalists who brought out the underhand dealings in the professional education sector are being beaten up. The government should act immediately against those who have taken law into their hands,” he said.
Top police officials reached the area. Two policemen have been suspended and two of the group that attacked the Asianet journalists have been arrested.But the media persons were still not satisfied.”We want the authorities to see that they get back the tape that was taken from the camera and police should arrest all those people who were involved in attacking the journalists,” said journalist R.Ajithkumar.
The journalists marched towards the state assembly, where they began a sit-in. They were joined by many legislators, both from the ruling party and the opposition.