Chief Minister’s family owned newspaper faces Christians wrath on Jesus’ photo

By Mohammed Siddique,,

July : “Sakshi” (witness), a multi edition Telugu daily newspaper published by the Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy;s son YS Jaganmohan Reddy has landed itself in a deep trouble by carrying an alleged photo showing disrespect to Jesus Christ.

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The photo, downloaded from Internet and published in the Sunday edition of the paper, showed Jesus holding cigarette in one hand and a beer can in the other. It evoked angry reaction from the Christian minority and the community members staged protest demonstration and ransacked the offices of the newspaper at several places across the state.

In Hyderabad, the main opposition Telugu Desam party has launched a complaint at the Banjara Hills police station alleging that the said photograph had hurt the religious sentiments of Christians. The party demanded that the action should be taken against the management of the newspaper for hurting the sentiments of a section of people.

After the series of protest, in which the paper’s office was damaged in Guntur district, the management tendered an unconditional apology. Today’s issue of the newspaper carried the apology from Jaganmohan Reddy on the front page saying it was inadvertent mistake in downloading the photo from internet with out properly checking it.

The newspaper management and staff faced the wrath of the Christians at several places including Chirala, Guntur, Ongolr, Nandyal Kurnool, Chief Minister home district Kadapa, Nizamabad and Hyderabad.

In Chirala where former minister and TDP leader P Rama Rao led the demonstration, a crowd damaged the office and burnt the effigy of Jaganmohan Reddy. Rama Rao demanded that the management of the newspaper should be arrested in the same manner as the editor and staff members of another Telugu daily “Andhra Jyothy” was arrested on the charges of abusing the Dalits.

It may be recalled here that the editor and two reporters of “Andhra Jyothy”, an anti Congress government Telugu daily were arrested by the same Banjara Hills police in Hyderabad on June 24.

It is significant to note that Chief Minister and his family also belong to the Christian community.