MNS activists attack Uttar Pradesh journalist (Lead)October 30th, 2008 - 9:11 pm ICT by IANS
Mumbai, Oct 30 (IANS) A senior journalist from Uttar Pradesh was brutally beaten up by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) supporters here Thursday, and both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding strict against police for failing to prevent the attack. Dinanath Tiwari, 45, who works for the Nirbhay Pathik tabloid, had gone to Kurar village in the eastern suburb of Malad just after midnight to report on MNS workers abusing and attacking people at a north India settlement.
When they saw him taking photographs, about 15 MNS activists, including the area’s municipal corporator Vanita Ghag, assaulted Tiwari, an eyewitness said.
Tiwari was rushed to the Bhagwati Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for severe ear injury, at least two broken teeth, a fractured left leg and severe spinal injuries.
Doctors described his condition as stable.
Tiwari, who belongs to Jaunpur and has worked for Mumbai’s first Hindi evening paper for 10 years, was dragged by MNS activists inside the police outpost and beaten up, said newspaper editor A.K. Mishra. The police denied the allegation.
State Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam and city BJP president Gopal Shetty, who both visited Tiwari, said it was “indeed shocking” that a senior mediaperson was attacked in the close vicinity of the police station and the policemen remained mute spectators.
“It is clear that the police have failed to protect a citizen who is also a journalist. The police appear to be hand in glove with the miscreants,” Nirupam told IANS.
Shetty said: “This is clearly a failure of the state government and the police to protect the lives of all its citizens.”
“Unless the government takes concrete steps to stop such attacks, it will create panic among people from all walks of life.”
Shetty asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to hold an all-party meeting to discuss the issues and hammer out a lasting solution.
An official of the Kurar police station told IANS that a complaint has been registered against the corporator and 14 MNS activists. They have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 325, 143, 144, 149, 147 and 148, pertaining to assault, rioting, and causing grievous injury.
Nirupam said it was surprising that the police have lodged the case under these bailable charges and not applied serious charges like sections 307 (attempt to murder).
This is the second attack on north Indians in three days in and around Mumbai.
On Tuesday, Dharamdev Ramnarain Rai, who was from Uttar pradesh, was lynched in a running suburban train at Khopoli, around 120 km from Mumbai, following a dispute over occupying a window seat in the train.
On Monday, a Bihari unemployed youth, Rahul Raj, was gunned down by police after he allegedly attempted to hijack a BEST public bus with 25 passengers on board and injured a commuter with a gunshot.
The latest series of attacks on north Indians started on Oct 19 when workers of MNS and Shiv Sena attacked scores of youth from north India, who had come to appear for railway recruitment examinations in different parts of Maharashtra.