Members of the Vedike had earlier assaulted a Karavali Ale employee

Members of a right-wing group, which is alleged to have been behind the attack on Kannada daily Karavali Ale employee on Wednesday, prevented the sale of the newspaper from newsstands here on Thursday

The Surathkal police said members of Hindu Jagarana Vedike on Thursday walked away with bundles of the newspaper soon after they were dropped at newspaper stalls in Kulai, Baikampady, Hosabettu, and Krishnapura. The police said the activists of vedike forced newsstand owners to refrain from distributing of Karavali Ale copies.

On Wednesday night, the Vedike activists assaulted Harish Putran, a 36-year-old office assistant who works at the Karavali Ale. The attack was triggered following reports in the newspaper about the association of vedike leader Satyajit Surathkal with Keshav, who has been arrested for allegedly selling narcotics in the city.

Mr. Putran was chased and hit with iron rods and cricket stumps. He has been admitted to a private hospital as he suffered injuries on his head and shoulders. The vedike activists had earlier burnt copies of Karavali Ale on Wednesday morning. Representatives of social organisations such as Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, and the Democratic Youth Federation of India protested against the assault on Harish Putran. B.V. Seetaram, Director and Chairman of Chitra Publications, which runs the newspaper, took part in the protest.

Mr. Seetaram said this was not the first time that his newspaper employees had been attacked. “This is the way people we have exposed have been reacting.” Mangaloreans should raise their voice against attacks on journalists that had been increasing.

The newspaper had taken up the issue of Wednesday’s attack with the Press Council of India. He said he was dismayed with the reaction of the police, who had charged the assaulters with petty offences.

“The attack was murderous. But police have not booked assaulters for non-bailable offences,” he said.

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