Staff Correspondent

Reporters accused of going overboard

CHANDIGARH: For the second day in succession, activists of Sikh organisations on Sunday beat up reporters, photographers and camera crew of television channels inside the Golden Temple complex.

The attack, which forced the media persons to vacate the shrine, comes after the Media Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister, Harcharan Bains, on Saturday accused reporters of `going overboard' in reporting the events since May 14. Also the chief of the religious seminary, the Damdami Taksal, Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, had held a "section" of the electronic media guilty of painting the Sikh organisations as the aggressor.

A group of activists of the radical organisations pounced upon the reporters and camera persons recording the beating up of a police officer near the Akal Takht building. Many among the media corps received bruises and their equipment damaged as they were pushed and punched by the mob.

While clerics deliberated inside the Akal Takht building, outside an angry crowd armed with swords and sticks beat up a police officer, who was not dressed in uniform, before his seniors came to his rescue.

The trouble started when the officer stumbled and his pistol fell from his pocket. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital.

Earlier, while addressing a gathering, some leaders of the radical organisations accused the press and television channels of being biased in favour of the Dera chief. Some speakers are said to have used derogatory language.

Mr. Bainscomplimented the various wings of the State Government of having succeeded in dealing with the situation most efficiently