Members of the district unit of the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists on Thursday took out a procession and staged a dharna outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office here in protest against the arrest of Naveen Soorinje, a television channel reporter in Mangalore, in connection with the attack on a ‘homestay’.
They said that instead of arresting those involved in the attack, the police had taken a journalist into custody and were trying to blame the media for the incident. The journalists demanded that the investigation of the incident be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation and submitted a memorandum to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj through Deputy Commissioner V.P. Ikkeri.
Bellary Staff Correspondent reports:
Reporters from the print and electronic media here have opposed the arrest of Mr. Soorinje.
In a memorandum addressed to Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, who holds the Home portfolio, through the Deputy Commissioner here on Thursday, the journalists expressed shock over the arrest and termed the police action an attack on the freedom of the press. “Police had failed to collect details about the ‘homestay’ incident, and expected reporters to pass on information, which is condemnable. Arresting a reporter and filing a charge sheet amounts to police high-handedness,” the memorandum said. The reporters urged Mr. Ashok to direct the police to release Mr. Soorinje, and ensure that such incidents did not recur.