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Journalists attacked by Sangh Parivar activists in Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 3 (IANS) Around 100 media personnel, including women, have been attacked in Kerala in the last two days since protests erupted after two women prayed at the Sabarimala temple, a journalist leader said on Thursday, blaming the Sangh Parivar activists for the mayhem.

The dawn-to-dusk Kerala shutdown called by the Sabarimala Karma Samithi (SKS) and backed by BJP and RSS on Thursday saw many protesters turning their ire on journalists.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the violence.

“Since yesterday, it has come to notice that even media personnel, including women, have not been spared by Sangh Parivar forces who are trying to take law into their hands. This will be seriously dealt with,” Vijayan told the media here.

Speaking to IANS, V. Suresh, President of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, said that since Wednesday, journalists had been attacked by Sangh Parivar protesters.

“We have got reports from across the state that around 100 journalists have been attacked. Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Palakkad are the districts where our fellow journalists have been the worst hit,” he said.

Journalists on Thursday staged a protest march in front of the state Secretariat to condemn the violence.

“We have collected the visuals of those who have attacked the media and tomorrow we will give it to the police. As a protest, it was decided that the media will boycott the press conference of State BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai and programmes of Sangh Parivar on Thursday,” added Suresh.

The shutdown was called to protest against the visit of two women to the Sabarimala temple on Wednesday.

Kerala Police chief Loknath Behra said the police viewed these attacks “very seriously” and strict action would be taken against the attackers.

“Directions have been issued to all district police chiefs to form a separate committee of police officers to probe these attacks. The intelligence unit has been asked to look into it,” he said.