Opposition walks out in Kerala over assault on journalists


Thiruvananthapuram : The Left-led opposition walked out of the Kerala assembly Friday to protest the assault on three television journalists over a report that a church-run medical college had collected donations for admission to the MBBS course.

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Leader of Opposition and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy always said one thing and did the opposite.

“The attack on the media should have been more seriously viewed by you and you failed to come out with any strong measures because the charges levelled against the accused are all weak charges,” Achuthanandan said, as he led the opposition out of the house.

Responding to the allegations, Chandy said his government viewed the assault incident Thursday very seriously.

“We have already registered cases against 25 people. Two policemen have been suspended and two people have been arrested… we will take stringent action against those who have violated the law. Not a single accused would be let off,” said Chandy.

The assaults were the fallout over a report on Asianet TV claiming that the CSI Medical College at Karakonam near here had collected hefty donations for admission to the MBBS course.

As Asianet reporter Sarath Kumar and cameraman Ayyappan Thursday morning reached the headquarters of the LMS Church compound where the office of the medical college is located, a group of 25 people attacked the two, damaged their camera and took away the tape.

Several journalists reached the church compound. As they were moving towards the office of the church, another TV journalist, Marshall V.Sebastian, of India Vision TV was hit on the head by a policeman’s baton in the commotion.

This led to widespread protests by journalists.