Threaten media for describing them as ‘mafia’
An interaction with the media called by the Private Bus Owners’ Association ended in a fracas and threats being held out against the media by some agents of the bus operators at the Press Club here on Tuesday.
The association had called for a press conference to explain issues emerging from the Saturday’s accident involving a Shirdi-bound bus and subsequent raids conducted on them by the Transport Department. However, the proceedings spiralled out of control within minutes after the association office bearers objected to some television channels describing them as ‘mafia’ and presenting their operations in bad light.
Even as they were talking, another group, obviously agents of the transport operators, who were watching the press conference, interrupted and began arguing with media personnel.
Heated arguments continued for some time with some association members threatening the journalists and challenging them to come out of the venue for a confrontation. Slogan shouting by the association representatives and their agents continued for some time at the venue and as the situation got surcharged, the police was called in.
The association office bearers left the venue, as the police entered the scene. The other agents were initially chased away and later some of them were picked up on the road.
Before the arguments ensued, Ramakrisha of Kesineni Travels maintained that the association was saddened by the Shirdi bus accident. He said the media had sensationalised the accident and targeted the private bus operators with misleading reports and even went to the extent of describing them as ‘mafia’.
“We are into bus operations and not running a ‘mafia’. Please stop presenting us in bad light,” he was heard saying before the meeting started to fall apart.