Journalists hold protest march in Delhi, want action against attackers

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) In a show of solidarity with media persons attacked by lawyers in the Patiala House courts complex here, hundreds of journalists on Tuesday marched towards the Supreme Court and demanded action against the culprits.

The protesting journalists gathered at the Press Club of India (PCI) to march to the Supreme Court to protest against Monday’s attack on scribes and Jawaharlal Nehru University students.

Senior journalists Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Coomi Kapoor, Suhasini Haider, Nidhi Razdan, Maya Mirchandani, Jyoti Malhotra and several other known names from the electronic and print media were among the marchers, shouting slogans against the beating up of even women journalists.

As the march proceeded towards the Supreme Court through central Delhi roads from the PCI, traffic was disrupted in the process.

Police were seen walking along the roads with the agitating journalists who shouted slogans of ‘Inqilab zindabad’, ‘Delhi Police murdabad’ and ‘Kalam ki azadi par hamla nahi chelaga’ (attack on freedom of the press will not be tolerated).

Women police constables too were deployed as a large number of women journalists were participating in the march.

As the protestors reached the Mandi House area, two buses arranged by the Delhi Police to whisk them away in case of trouble were seen being driven alongside the marchers.

Delhi Police stopped the marching journalists at a traffic signal on Bhagwan Das Road by putting up barricades but allowed their delegation to proceed towards the apex court for submitting a memorandum to Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur.

The journalists later submitted the memorandum to a registrar of the apex court, demanding action against the culprits within 48 hours.

The protestors also heard a first-hand account from fellow journalists about the attack by certain lawyers.

IANS reporter Amiya Kumar Kushwaha was among the journalists and JNU students who were assaulted. Amiya was slapped inside a courtroom while some other journalists – including Sonal Malhotra of NDTV, Amit Pandey of IBN7, Alok Singh of the Indian Express and Azaan from DNA – were attacked on the court premises by lawyers shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans.

The assault took place just before Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar – arrested on the charge of sedition – was to be presented in a court.