Kerala lawyers go on rampage; scribes abused on court premises

As many as 15 persons including journalists, cops and lawyers were injured in the clashes.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Lawyers in Thiruvananthapuram went on a rampage attacking journalists, damaging their vehicles and creating terror in the district court premises throughout the day. As many as 15 persons including journalists, cops and lawyers were injured in the clashes that took place at regular intervals within and outside the court premises. It all began on Thursday morning when journalists reached the court to cover the day’s events. They were welcomed by derogatory posters pasted on the door outside the media room inside the complex.

The posters read “Entry of fourth gender banned”. Similar derogatory posters were pasted on the vehicles of news channels. When journalists protested against the remarks, a group of lawyers shouted them down and pushed them out of the building. Journalists who came out of the building and raised a protest again, faced abusive and provocative remarks from the lawyers who had turned unruly by then. They pushed and shoved journalists, asking them to leave the premises.

Amid slogans and counter slogans, the small group ofpolicemen deployed there, tried to separate the warring groups. Since many vehicles of media houses were parked inside the premises at that time, the lawyers tried to target the cars and were seen asking their colleagues to puncture tyres. As tension prevailed, there was almost a free-for-all situation outside the main gate of the district court complex. A group of lawyers started throwing stones from inside the court.

Tension mounted in Vanchiyoor junction as stone pelting continued unabated. Anu Lal, a reporter with Jeevan TV sustained serious injury when a stone hurled from inside the premises hit him on the head. He was immediately rushed to the general hospital. A gumasthan was also injured in the stone pelting. The vehicle of Asianet News was damaged.

After the stone throwing came to a brief halt, the mediapersons squatted outside the main gate and raised slogans demanding arrest of lawyers. During this period, DCP Shiv Vikram, CPM leader V. Sivankutty and other police officials went inside the court premises to hold talks with lawyers. After the meeting, the DCP came out and announced that cases would be registered after getting complaints and examining the video footage of the incidents.

However, the protesting journalists insisted that the unruly lawyers, particularly those who attacked the reporters and damaged vehicles, should be arrested. The lawyers who were witnessing these developments on TV channels inside the premises, started heckling and raising provocative slogans. This led to a fresh round of violence between 5 pm and 6 pm. Unruly lawyers threw beer bottles, stones and wooden planks on the protesting journalists. Kerala Kaumudi bureau chief P. Rajeev sustained head injury and was rushed to the hospital.

Subsequently, a section of local people also assaulted mediapersons accusing them of attacking them. Some local leaders and workers were seen assaulting Mathrubhumi video journalist V.S. Biju and his camera was also smashed. The group also tried to chase away the protesting journalists. Later, city police commissioner Sparjan Kumar arrived at the spot and held talks with the journalists and assured strict action against those responsible for violence. Subsequently, the journalists called off the protest. Senior CPI leader Pannyan Raveendran, Mullakkara Ratnakaran, CPM district secretary Anavoor Nagappan also came to the spot and tried bring the situation under control.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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