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Senior Journalists condemn attack on reporters at Patiala House Court

17-February-2016
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Senior Journalists condemn attack on reporters at Patiala House Court

A fight broke out at the Patiala House Court premises in New Delhi, on Monday between the lawyers and faculty Jawahar Lal Nehru University’s (JNU). The lawyers raised slogans against the faculty and also beat up journalists who were present at the court premises to cover the arrest of JNU student, Kanhaiya Kumar.

Journalists from various media houses like ABP News, Economic Times, IBN7 and Indian Express were beaten up.

Here are a few reactions to the incident:

Senior journalist and ex media advisor to the Prime Minister, Pankaj Pachauri tweeted, “The Editors' Guild of India, The Press Club & News Broadcasters' Association should condemn the attack on journalists at Patiala House. Now!”

Journalist Rohini Singh, tweeted, “My colleagues @AkshaydET and @PrachiyNBT were assaulted by goons at Patiala House Court. Do you justify the assault?”

Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV said, “'You Will Be Harmed,' NDTV Reporter Covering JNU Case Was Warned. Other reporters attacked. What are we coming to?”

Nikhil Wagle, Editor in Chief of Maharashtra1 News channel tweeted, “Our national bureau chief @ameytirodkar was hurt in a scuffle with Patiala House court lawyer along with other journos. Now he is alright.”

Seema Mustafa, Editor of The Citizen and Treasurer of Editors Guild of India tweeted, “JNU faculty being beaten by lawyers in the court premises. What the hell is going on?”

The Editors Guild of Indian responded with the following statement, “The Editors Guild of India takes serious note of the assault on journalists covering the JNU case in the Patiala courts.

First person reports from the reporters representing television news channels and the print media point to a physical assault by lawyers allegedly supporting the BJP who ordered them to leave the Patiala court premises where the case was being heard. An NDTV reporter in a first person account along with her colleagues were ordered by the lawyers to get out of the Magistrates court saying they will be "harmed" if they did not comply.

As television cameras are not allowed in the courts, many of the journalists were using their mobiles to capture the attack by the same lawyers on JNU students and faculty who had gathered there for the hearing. These mobile phones were smashed by the lawyers who threw the journalists out of the court.

According to eyewitnesses the Delhi police personnel stood by and watched. Journalists said that when they tried to get help from the police they were told that it was best they left as being directed by the lawyers, and that the police was not in a position to control them. The journalists, students and others present in the court were abused as ‘anti-nationals’ by the lawyers and told to 'go to Pakistan' according to reports filed by the journalists.

The Editors Guild strongly condemns this attempt to intimidate the media through the threat of physical violence, and prevent the journalists from doing their job.”

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