For advising a bus driver to drive carefully, a photo journalist was mercilessly beaten up and made seriously injured by the driver, conductor and nearly 10 other accomplices of the driver-conductor duo on Thursday morning.
At around 9.15 am near DAV College, the driver of a mini bus (PB-03-L-9745) hit Baljit Singh, a group-D employee of irrigation department, who was on his cycle.
Pardeep Sharma, a photo journalist of Hindustan Times along with senior journalist Jasdeep Singh Malhotra, were passing nearby, after noticing the incident, they intervened into the situation and asked the bus driver to take injured Baljeet to a nearby hospital.
"Initially the driver was reluctant but later he agreed to take the injured to hospital after sensing the anger of the surrounded people," Pardeep said.
"I followed the bus to hospital. When the doctors were dressing the injured, I asked the driver to be careful while driving. He was trying to flee from the spot and I asked him to wait until the police arrive. Annoyed over it, the driver, conductor and eight to ten other youths, apparently the daily passengers of the bus, attacked me with base-bat," added Pardeep.
"The attackers also hit on his head with bricks when he fell into a pit," said a person present at the spot.
Police reached the spot and impounded the bus. The driver and conductor were identified as Lakhwinder Singh, a resident of Kala Bahia village and Hans Raj of Dayalpur village. Both had been arrested by the police while two other attackers, identified as Prabhjot Singh and Mangal Singh, and others were still at large.
After hearing about the attack on journalist, media fraternity gathered and demanded the immediate arrest of the attackers. President, Punjab Press Club, Major Singh, general secretary, Manoj Tripathi and other scribes were present on this occasion.
Additional deputy commissioner of police, Navjot Singh Mahal, also reached the spot and assured the journalists of quick action. "The guilty will be punished under provisions of law," he said.
Police had booked the bus driver, conductor and other unidentified accused under Section 307, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC.
Deputy CM condemns attack
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had condemned the attack on journalists on Thursday and had directed the commissioner police to put all the culprits behind bars as early as possible.
"It is an attack on freedom of press. We will ensure the punitive action against the culprits. I have passed necessary instructions to the commissioner of police in this regard," he said.