Goons assault CNN-IBN staff | india | Hindustan Times
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Goons assault CNN-IBN staff

POLITICAL GOONS on Tuesday assaulted CNN-IBN staffers and burnt down their car at the PeeKay Bhawan on the Madan Mohan Malviya Marg in the city. Two youths on a motorcycle attacked the car occupants, driver Guddu and camera assistant Anil Saini, while four others in a Qualis kept watch.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 02:25 IST

POLITICAL GOONS on Tuesday assaulted CNN-IBN staffers and burnt down their car at the PeeKay Bhawan on the Madan Mohan Malviya Marg in the city. Two youths on a motorcycle attacked the car occupants, driver Guddu and camera assistant Anil Saini, while four others in a Qualis kept watch. The attackers smashed the windshield and sprinkled petrol on the car and set it ablaze. Saini said he and Guddu jumped out and the assailants sprinkled petrol on him too.

Saini suffered serious injuries after being attacked with a iron rod in, while Guddu managed to escape. Saini said the attackers kept telling him: “You have to face the consequences for doing stories”.

Yesterday, CNN-IBN aired a story on the assets owned by BSP chief Mayawati. Last fortnight, it had run a sting operation on Samajwadi Party minister Mahboob Ali (who later resigned), BSP MLA Anil Kumar Maurya and a BJP MLA Sumaru Ram Saroj.

The FIR, lodged by Saini, said unidentified assailants torched the car and injured the complainant. It did not, however, did not mention Mayawati. The case was registered under sections of attempt to murder and other offences.

The ferocity of the attack paralysed onlookers and no one intervened. Saini was on the spot without medical attention for about 45 minutes, before the police reached the place. Meanwhile the attackers had fled the scene.

In New Delhi, strongly condemning the incident, CNN-IBN editior-in chief, Rajdeep Sardesai demanded an inquiry into the attack. While not blaming anyone, the channel called on everyone to stand together as one for media freedom.

Senior editor CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose called the “attack shocking” and a direct “assault on Press freedom”.

Terming it as a “blatant example of political goondaism,” she asked: “Why should young reporters and camerapersons be threatened with murder for simply doing their job?” Ghose said the channel’s report on the “illegal wealth that Mayawati has amassed was a sourced story and we have all the supporting documents.

You cannot beat up somebody if they do a story that does not suit your interest. This is not the first time that BSP workers have attacked the media,” she added. Ghose said the channel intended to take up the matter legally. “For the moment we have moved our correspondent to a safe house. We have also arranged security for our Lucknow and Noida offices,” she said.