Lucknow scribes caned for trying to speak to Babloo Srivastava

February 13th, 2009 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Feb 13 (IANS) An attempt to take sound bytes of jailed mafia don Babloo Srivastava cost Lucknow scribes dear when the police rained cane blows on them outside a court here Friday.
Protesting journalists later boycotted the budget briefing by Finance Minister Lalji Verma, even as Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh tendered an “unconditional apology” on behalf of the government.

Lucknow’s Superintendent of Police (East) was alleged to have personally led the attack on mediapersons, against whom he is alleged to have used foul invectives.

In an unrelated incident, a reporter of a TV channel was manhandled and slapped by a police sub-inspector while he was trying to interview youngsters at the Lucknow University for a story on Valentine’s Day Saturday.

Angry scribes held a meeting at the state media centre where a unanimous demand was raised for immediate suspension of the two policemen.

The government has agreed to shift the officials and institute a magisterial inquiry into the incidents, but expressed reluctance to initiate any further action against them.

The journalists have resolved to wear black badges as a mark of protest until their demand for suspension of the policemen is conceded.

Meanwhile, defending the police, a senior government official told IANS: “The SP (superintendent of police) was right in preventing journalists from interviewing a jailed criminal in police custody; if he had failed to do so he would have faced action.”

He, however, hastened to add: “But that does not mean that I am justifying the use of force against the scribes.”

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