TV crew attacked by Santhome Church Bishops

Thu, 2010-09-16 02:00 — editor
Sathyalaya Ramkrishnan – Reporting from Chennai
Chennai, 16 September, (
Some of the Journalists in Chennai who were allegedly attacked yesterday, by the close aids of Chennai Archbishop Chinnappa, triggered tension and hundreds of press men gathered in front of the house of the bishop for more than an hour.

A core of Journalists organization, Chennai Press Club, All Media Journalists Association (AMJA), Chennai Union of Journalist and Chennai Reporters Guild, urged the state government and the police to take appropriate action against the priests who indulged violence against the journalist and attacked them brutally.

The AMJA president Sathyalaya Ramakrishnan particularly urged the government to arrest the priests, who behaved as gundas.

Since in the afternoon on Wednesday, tension prevailed in front of the house of Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore Diocese attached to the Santhome Basilica when his aides detained Times Now TV crew for more than an hour and allegedly assaulted them, triggering a road block by various journalist bodies.

According to the Police, the TV crew, including journalist Vikram, had gone to the Bishop’s house where some officials, armed with a court order, came to investigate a case.

The authorities and Archbishop Chinnappa’s aides objected to their presence.

They detained them for more than an hour and also allegedly assaulted them.

They also did not allow other journalists, who had gathered outside, into his house.

Acting on information, journalists from across the city thronged the Archbishop’s House and demanded the release of the ‘detained’ journalists and condemned the ill-treatment meted to the TV crew.

The journalists also staged a snap road block agitation on the busy Santhome High Road to condemn the alleged detention and the attack, affecting free flow of traffic for some time.

They also demanded an apology from the Archbishop. Initially, the Archbishop refused, but senior police officials rushed to the spot, pacified both the parties and secured the release of the detained TV crew.

The affected TV crew members lodged a complaint with the police demanding the arrest of those who detained and assaulted them.

In further media organizations condemned the incident and said it was an affront to the freedom of the press.

The ”Times Now” crew comprising Correspondent Vikram Gopinath and Camera person Manish Dhanani were released from ”illegal confinement” after more than two hours following the intervention of journalists, including the AMJA members.

”Subsequently, Archbishop Chinnappa apologized to the journos.”

Mr Manish had identified to the police four people, including two priests, who had allegedly abused them and intimidated other journalists for their intervention in the issue.

– Asian Tribune –


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