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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Amritsar, February 26, 2013
The border range inspector general of police (IGP), RP Mittal, has transferred sub-inspector (SI) Gurpreet Singh Chappa, the station house officer (SHO) of Khalchian police station in Amritsar (rural) police district, to the police lines in Amritsar and has also initiated a departmental inquiry for allegedly 'misbehaving' with the mediapersons inside the Golden Temple complex during the recent visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The IGP took this decision duringa meeting with journalists here on Tuesday. Also present in this meeting was police commissioner Ram Singh, deputy commissioner (DC) Rajat Aggarwal and Amrisar (rural) SSP PS Virk.

The meeting was arranged by the district public relations (DPR) department on the demand of journalists of the print media, photojournalists and representatives of television news channels. The journalists had lodged a complaint with the DPR officials over the shabby treatment that was meted out to the local media, particularly at the hands of the police during the visit.

During the British premier's daylong visit, all sorts of restrictions were put on the movement of the local journalists while representatives of foreign media and a few from Chandigarh moved around freely. The local journalists were aggrieved over the rude behavior of Attari DSP Gurbax Singh and SI Chappa, both of whom were posted inside the Golden Temple complex.

After hearing the journalists, Mittal directed Virk to immediately transfer the SI to the Police Lines. However the DSP was spared as he had apologised to journalists after Cameron had left the shrine. The IGP himself was apologetic for the behaviour of his police officers.

At the meeting, confining photojournalists and TV new channel crews to the rooftop of the 'parikrama' of the shrine during Cameron's visit was also criticised, especially the role of assistant public relations officer (APRO). The DPR authorities have agreed to look into the matter.

The DC assured the media that in future proper coordination will be ensured with the media during the visit of a VVIP. He also agreed to the demand that two or three representatives of the media will be consulted on media management ahead of a VVIP visit.