As Rahul interacts with students, media 1ocked in room


Chandigarh: Nearly 30 mediapersons were locked for over two hours in a room adjoining the hall where Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was interacting with Panjab University (PU) students here Tuesday evening.

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Rahul Gandhi came to this union territory Tuesday evening to attend an interactive session with students at the gymnasium hall on the PU campus in Sector 14.

Mediapersons, most of whom were photojournalists, were taken by the organisers to a room that opened in the main hall around 3 p.m. The room was bolted from outside on the assurance that the journalists would be allowed entry into the hall after Rahul Gandhi arrived.

“We remained bolted inside the room for around two-and-half hours. Even after the arrival of Rahul Gandhi, nobody opened the door. We were shouting, hitting the door but to no avail,” Manmohan Singh, a reporter with an electronic news agency, who was inside the room, told IANS.

He added: “We cannot expect such things to happen in a democracy. At last, we had to break the door to free ourselves. They said that they did it because of security reasons but we really could not understand their logic.”

A senior official of Chandigarh police said: “The media was not allowed inside the hall as photographers were allowed for only the last five minutes. However, this incident is really bad. Actually all security arrangements were managed by National Security Guard (NSG) officials and we had to follow their instructions.”

Besides journalists, there were some students also who were left disappointed after being denied entry inside the hall.

“I had valid entry pass and identity card with me but they did not allow me to go inside as I was late by just a few minutes,” said Abhishek Atwal, a student.

“The security guards are saying that entry doors are bolted from inside and they are helpless. We do not understand what is the purpose of this interaction, going on in closed doors, when students are not allowed to go inside,” said Siddhartha Sharma, another student, who was denied entry.