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Lathicharge on Journalists: 4 Gujarat cops suspended in Junagadh

Prime News, Nation, (Ahmedabad), May 14:-A sub inspector and three constables were on Monday suspended in connection with a lathicharge on reporters covering elections of a temple trust in Junagadh town, around 320 kilometres from here.

The incident took place on Sunday outside Swaminarayan Temple in Junagadh when the election of the temple trust was underway, and was captured on camera.

Earlier in the day, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said he had ordered an inquiry and asked Junagadh SP to lead it.

In one of the videos of the incident aired by news channels, policemen, including some in civil uniform, can be seen pushing away a cameraman and then hitting media crew with batons. A policeman can also be seen slapping a TV channel cameraman.

Junagadh Superintendent of Police Saurabh Singh said late on Monday evening that he has ordered the suspension of sub inspector JP Gosai and three constables.

“Following an inquiry and after going through the video footage of the incident, I have suspended PSI JP Gosai and three constables of Junagadh Town police. While Gosai was the one who slapped a mediaperson, the three constables were involved in either lathicharge or in manhandling media crew present there,” said Singh.

Earlier in the day, demanding immediate suspension of the policemen, several mediapersons of Saurashtra region had staged protests at the office of Singh.

They called it off Monday evening after news of the policemen’s suspension came in. Reporters had also protested in other parts of the state, including Ahmedabad, where many of them gathered at Vastrapur Lake and submitted a memorandum to Collector Vikrant Pandey.

After the attack on Sunday, mediamen had confronted the Junagadh SP who had, at the time, said action would only be taken after the probe was completed and not just by watching video footage of the incident as demanded by mediapersons.

Following this, the reporters and cameramen had sat on protest outside his Junagadh office late on Sunday evening. Reporters claimed police hit them when they were covering a confrontation between two persons over an election related issue in the premises of the Swaminarayan Temple.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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