The security guards and staff of the Country Club unleashed a vicious attack on a group of locals opposing alleged gambling activities on the club premises and turned their ire on The Hindu photographer who snapped pictures of the incident on Saturday afternoon.
The group of security guards snatched the camera of photographer, Nagara Gopal, a camera bag containing a tele-lens and a flash. They dragged him into the club compound and thrashed him mercilessly. Ten people, including Mr. Gopal, were injured in the attack.
All the injured were shifted to a nearby corporate hospital where they were provided treatment. While two of them were admitted with serious injuries, others were shifted to the Gandhi Hospital.
Trouble broke out around 2 p.m. when about 100 followers of the local Congress corporator Mahesh Yadav forced their way into the Club alleging that organised gambling was going on. They entered a hall where club members were playing cards and disrupted the activity. Club bouncers and security guards attacked them leading to a free-for-all.
As the guards were chasing away the protesters, Mr. Gopal, who was passing by, noticed a police patrol vehicle rushing into the compound. When the guards were thrashing two women, who were trying to flee, he snapped a couple of pictures. The guards, who noticed Mr. Gopal with his camera, went berserk and began attacking him. Showering blows and kicks, they dragged him into the compound where they snatched his camera and bag, after one of the assailants ordered his men in Telugu to “finish him” (Veseyandra!).
U. Srinivas Reddy, a Sub-Inspector who was on the spot, saved Mr. Gopal by pushing him into the patrol vehicle. Then, he was sent to hospital for treatment. Police found his camera in pieces.
A confrontation was brewing between the locals and the club management for some time, with the former alleging that the management was encouraging illegal activities. A complaint was also lodged with the police on the illegal activities, four days ago.
City Commissioner of Police A.K. Khan told The Hindu that police would take stern action against the assailants and that the Zonal DCP had been asked to speed up investigation.
Keywords: Country Club