A police patrol party on Sunday allegedly assaulted a television channel reporter in front of the Kanakakkunnu Palace and later at the local Museum police station.
The chain of events started around 2.30 p.m. when Vinish, a reporter of Kerala Vision, a local news channel run by an association of cable television operators, used his mobile phone camera to record the policemen allegedly assaulting a private bus driver. The policemen hustled Vinish into their van and took him to the local station after allegedly taking a long detour in the city.
Quoting Vinish, who has been hospitalised with injuries indicating physical assault, Kerala Union of Working Journalists district secretary Suresh Vellimangalam said three policemen beat Vinish in the van and later at the station.
He said Vinish managed to call other members of the journalistic fraternity, who rushed to the police station. Mr. Vellimangalam said he witnessed the police beat Vinish again in the presence of station house officers and other journalists. Television cameramen recorded the visuals of the assault in police custody, which were subsequently aired in afternoon news broadcasts.
Mr. Vellimangalam said the police held Vinish without any charge and attempted to take away his mobile phone. The station house officers seemed unable to control their men, who were apparently in a violent state of mind, he said.
The police subsequently released the journalist without pressing any charges. He was immediately hospitalised.
Deputy Commissioner of Police A. Sreenivas arrived at the station and talked to his officers and journalists who were present there. The police were yet to take Vinish’s statement.
Additional Director General of Police A. Hemachandran has suspended three Museum station officers in connection with the incident. They were grade sub-inspector Inayathil Ali Khan, and civil police officers Sreekumar and Anandakuttan.