S. Gopakumar, principal news photographer of The Hindu in Thiruvananthapuram, who sustained injuries during police action on the Vanchiyoor district court premises on Wednesday, was discharged from hospital on Thursday evening.

Mr. Gopakumar, who received baton blows in the forehead and back, was shifted to a private hospital from the General Hospital where the police first took him. He has been advised a week's rest.

Three others injured

Besides Mr. Gopakumar, three journalists — Sooraj and Arun of Asianet Cable Vision, and S. Kumar of the City News Channel — sustained injuries when the police stormed the court premises following a clash with lawyers.

The lawyers had been protesting against the arrest of a colleague on Monday.

Mr. Gopakumar said the police charged at the lawyers when someone informed them that a section of the protesters was holding Deputy Commissioner (Law and Order) C.H. Nagaraju hostage inside a court building.

Three policemen were also injured in the clash with lawyers.

Booked for assault

Ten lawyers have been booked on the charge of assaulting policemen, including two traffic constables.

The lawyers were attempting to take out a march to the office of the Superintendent of Police, Rural, when the police resorted to action, in which the journalists were injured.

A. Hemachandran, Inspector-General, Thiruvananthapuram Range, suspended Circle Inspector K.S. Sabu and constable Prakashan in connection with the incident. Deputy Commissioner (Administration) Jolly Cherian has been asked to investigate it.

Parties condemn

Major political parties and human rights organisations have condemned the incident. The Trivandrum Press Club and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists have demanded stern action against the guilty.

Indian Journalists Union (IJU) president Suresh Akhouri petitioned Press Council of India chairman G.N. Ray. He has promised to take up the matter with Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, said the Kerala Journalists' Union, the IJU's State unit.