Police assault journalists during Maradona’s call on Basu

December 7th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Dec 7 (IANS) Several journalists were allegedly beaten up Sunday by the West Bengal police and private security personnel outside veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu’s residence, where soccer superstar Diego Maradona was scheduled to visit Sunday evening.The trouble erupted when the journalists were told on reaching the venue that they have to produce invitation passes specifically given for the programme, and the accreditation cards given for Maradona’s visit to the city would not do.

However, most of the national media houses had not been given the passes. Nor did the organisers of Maradona’s visit make an official announcement that such passes were needed.

When journalists insisted that they be allowed to cover the programme, the police allegedly baton charged them.

At least five journalists were allegedly assaulted by the security personnel. One of them reportedly had to be taken to a hospital with a serious leg injury.

A journalist from a national television channel complained that the police pounced on him and tore up his shirt besides hitting him on the leg.

When journalists Saturday approached the state’s Sports Minister, Subhas Chakraborty, complaining about some untoward incidents during Maradona’s felicitation programme at the Salt Lake Stadium, the minister refused to listen to them and called the media “indisciplined”.

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