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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Journalists condemn shabby treatment meted out to them during Cameron visit

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, February 22, 2013
First Published: 21:53 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 21:55 IST(22/2/2013)

Local journalists held a meeting here on Friday and took strong note of the shabby treatment meted out to them during the recent visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to the holy city.

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The rude behavior of the police personal during the visit was condemned at the meeting, which was attended by members of the print media, photojournalists and those representing different cable and television channels.

The journalists viewed with concern the manner in which police officials went around humiliating and threatening journalists.

The members noted that while no restrictions were put on the British media, the movements of their Indian counterparts were either restricted or confined to certain limited areas at the venues, which Cameron visited.

Suspension of cops demanded

While identifying two police officials, who had used offensive words against mediapersons covering the event, the journalists in one voice demanded their immediate suspension and holding of an inquiry. The officials were identified as Attari DSP Gurbax Singh and sub-inspector Gurpreet Singh Chappa, both of whom were stationed inside the Golden Temple complex during the visit of Cameron.

While the DSP had threatened to forcibly evict journalists from the shrine if they did not leave on their own, the sub-inspector allegedly had mouthed foul language. The journalists will be approaching the Akal Takht against the two officials as they had used offensive words inside the shrine thereby violating its 'maryada' (tradition).

The meeting decided to meet police commissioner Ram Singh and IGP (border range) RP Mittal to seek action against the two officials and to lodge a protest over the behavior of the cops. The journalists will also meet deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal to air their grievances.

PR department failure

The journalists also felt that there was no media management planning for the local media on the part of the district public relations officer.

It was resolved that henceforth a representative of the local media should be made part of the district level committee which is formed ahead of a VVIP visit to chalk out details of the visit including those related to media management. The name of Jagmohan Singh, representing PTI, will be forwarded to deputy commissioner Rajat Aggarwal as the media representative for this important task.

The meeting also demanded the suspension of an assistant public relations officer (APRO) for making no efforts to come to the assistance of a TV-channel cameraman who had fainted inside the Golden Temple complex while covering Cameron's visit.

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