Attack on media: Nitish relents, agrees for CBI enquiry against JD (U) MLA (Lead-Patna Media Attack)

November 14th, 2007 - 8:15 am ICT by admin  
The police arrested the JD (U) legislator from Mokama, Anant Singh, and charged him with illegal detention, attempt to murder and illegal possession of arms.

Four of the MLA’s supporters, including his personal bodyguard and an official guard, have also been arrested.

Later in the day, Anant Singh was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate and was sent to judicial custody till November 13.

The police action came after the media created an immense pressure to take action against the MLA and his goons, who attacked journalists, including the cameraperson of Asian News International (ANI).

ANI cameraman Ajay Kumar’s hand and camera was broken in the incident.

The incident began when Prakash Singh, a correspondent with the private news channel NDTV, went to Anant Singh’s residence to get his reaction to a story on the recovery of the body of a dead woman near the Patel Nagar area in Patna.

There were reports that the body of the dead woman could be of a lady, who had earlier sent letters to media persons in Patna alleging that she was raped by Anant Singh and his associates, and was being constantly threatened by them.

“When I found out that NDTV correspondent Prakash has been held by the supporters of Anant Singh, I went there along with other media persons. When we reached there, supporters of Anant Singh, who were 20-25 in number, attacked us. They have broken our cameras, watch, mobile everything. They have beaten us brutally and I feel that my left hand is fractured,” Ajay Singh recounted.

He also confirmed that Anant Singh and his supporters had snatched Prakash Singh’s car keys, broken his mobile and camera and held him captive for two hours.

Prakash Singh said: “Today morning, we called Anant Singh for his reaction on one story. They called us home and they saw my story. Then, his supporters attacked me and beat me with guns, hands and sticks. They held me for two hours. I have bruises on my body. I managed to escape from there somehow when the DSP reached there.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, who has come under criticism from all corners for not taking action against the MLA, said that he has asked the State Home Secretary to recommend a CBI probe into the alleged rape and murder of a woman by Anant Singh’s associates.

“A journalistic inquiry into this incident led to the unfortunate attack (on media),” Kumar quipped.

“We have come to know today that some people were demanding a CBI enquiry into the case and I want to say that those people should use their influence on the Central Government to convince them to hand over the case to the agency, which is known to refuse to take up cases sometimes,” Kumar added.

Meanwhile, Bihar’s main opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and former chief Minister of the state Rabri Devi met the journalist and called for a state-wide shutdown against the incident.

“This is happening for the second or third time in the state with mediapersons being attacked by a ruling party member. The government should not limit itself to forming a committee to investigate the case but should take immediate action against culprits and arrest them,” said Rabri Devi.

LJP President Ramvilas Paswan has also demanded stringent action against the MLA. (ANI)

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