Kerala erupts as Mangalore police arrest media staff

While two people were dead, four others were seriously injured and are in hospital

Thiruvananthapuram: Crossing political affiliations, senior Kerala leaders on Friday raised strong objections to the measures taken by the Mangalore police after several media personnel from various Malayalam TV stations were arrested and as a result of the State government intervention, the police agreed to release them and bring them back to the Kerala border.

According to reports, various members of the media staff covering a hospital in Mangalore, where the autopsy of the two people shot dead by police on Thursday was carried out, were asked by senior Mangalore police officials on Friday morning not to do so. report from there and later. placed in police custody.

Shortly after the arrest of media personnel, the office of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan contacted Karnataka officials.

Kerala Police Chief Loknath Behra told media here that as soon as he heard about what had happened in Mangalore, he spoke to his counterpart in Karnataka.

“I spoke and said that the media staff were only doing their job. I was told that anyone who was taken into custody would be released and would be allowed to return. I am not able to say whether they will be allowed to report, because it is those officials who have to make the decision, “Behra said.

A member of the media who first managed to escape the police told reporters that they barely managed to escape the hospital grounds and returned to the Kerala border.

“We are now in Kerala, and the hospital where the autopsy is taking place is about eight kilometers from our border. Many of our media colleagues are in the custody of Mangalore Police. They don’t want the media to report, “said a personal media outlet that managed to escape.

State Industry Minister EPJayarajan raised strong objections to the reported statement by Karnataka Interior Minister Basavaraj Bommai who alleged that it was the people from Kerala who created the heckling in Mangalore.

“It was a highly irresponsible statement that came. We strongly condemn the police action taken against our media doing their job. Every effort is being made for them to be released,” Jayarajan said.

Top Congressman and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala condemned the Mangalore police action.

“The media were doing their job and all over the world the media are reporting like that. What the Mangalore police have done is gag the media and that is not acceptable in a democracy,” Chennithala said.

Upon hearing about the custody of media personnel in Kerala, angry journalists here staged a protest march towards the general post office here.

Police opened fire on demonstrators protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 yesterday.

While two people died, four others were seriously injured and are hospitalized.

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