An attack on a journalist of a vernacular newspaper at Gidderbaha in Muktsar district was on Sunday condemned by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal. Terming as “unfortunate” the assault, he alleged that now even the media had been taken into the ambit of vendetta politics unleashed by the Congress workers in Punjab.
Alleging that those involved in the Saturday’s attack on the scribe were the Congress workers aligned with a local MLA, he said “No arrests have been made in the case. What is stopping the police from arresting the accused, who are associated with the Gidderbaha legislator?”
He accused the Punjab police of “sleeping” over the case despite being given the complete details about the accused by the victim as well as the another reporter present on the spot, saying it was even more condemnable.
Accusing the Congress of “freely assaulting” anyone who opposed them, including the media, Badal said the assault on the journalist was a clear message to the media that dissent would not be tolerated in the present regime and would be muzzled brutally.
Claiming that the victim was not only beaten mercilessly but was also forced to drink alcohol as well as urine, he said that this is a fit case for an inquiry by the State Human Rights Commission.
The SAD president demanded immediate arrest of the accused and said his party had always stood up for the freedom of the press because it itself had faced repeated repression during the various people movements launched by it.