At least three media personnel, who had come to cover proceedings in the Ice Cream parlour case in district court in Kozhikode, were removed by police Saturday morning and taken to the police station. Police said the action was taken allegedly at the instructions of the district judge. The vehicle of the news channel was also removed from the court complex by police.
Police said the sub-inspector had stated there were directions from the judge to remove the media personnel and their vehicle from the court complex. “We have apologised to the journalists’, he said.
Binnu Raj of the news channel, who was among those removed, said he had told police that he had not done any mistake. “But I along with the others was pushed, manhandled and removed and taken to the police station in a police vehicle,” he alleged.
Media personnel said they were not prevented by lawyers, but by a police team led by town sub-inspector who insisted that he was following orders of the district judge.
Following the incident, media personnel are protesting in front of the Kozhikode police commissioner’s office demanding suspension against Town SI Vimod. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters in New Delhi that he would enquire into the incident. DGP Loknath Behra said the police department was not against media and if the SI had done any mistake, action would be taken. Assistant Commissioner P K Raju said the media’s grievances would be looked into. The media personnel were not arrested, he said.
Calicut Bar Association sources said they have not taken any decision to prevent media personnel from covering court proceedings.
Scribes in the state capital took out a protest march to the Secretariat covering their mouths and demanding action against police personnel responsible for the incident.
Media personnel covering court proceedings in Kerala have not been allowed to enter courts by lawyers since the last 10 days following the stand off between journalists and lawyers in front of the Kerala High Court over media coverage of the alleged molestation bid by a government pleader.