At least 12 journalists, including HT principal correspondent Vishal Joshi, were severely hurt when the police resorted to unprovoked lathicharge near the historic Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi here on Wednesday afternoon.
The journalists had gone to the said gurdwara to cover the ongoing protest by the supporters of the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, who had clashed with the police.
However, a number of policemen, who noticed reporters and photojournalists capturing police personnel assaulting passersby and damaging their vehicles, assaulted them. The journalists were attacked at Theme Park, about 500 metres away from the mob that was being dispersed by the police.
Ironically enough, when the police 'action' was over and the violent protesters were chased away, the journalists gathered outside the gurdwara were attacked again by the police and their video cameras, cameras and microphones damaged.
However, when a group of journalists including HT principal correspondent Vishal Joshi went to the Thanesar SDM Vinay Pratap Singh and Pehowa DSP Gorakh Pal Rana to register their protest about the brutal attack on the journalists, they identified a couple of policemen who had beaten them.
Here again, a group of 20-25 policemen started beating journalists with lathis. In the presence of DSP Rana, Joshi was repeatedly hit by batons in the head by the policemen, while some of the journalists succeeded in running away. There was no mob at this spot except for policemen, senior officials of the district administration and journalsist. The injured journalists were denied medical treatment as the policemen did not allow them to move out.
Later a delegation of journalists, submitted a written complaint to SP Ashwin Shenvi in the context.
Meanwhile, the Chandigarh Press Club and Haryana State Press Club also condemned the incident and sought action against the guilty officials and cops.