Kolkata: Over 1,000 media persons of electronic, print and digital media had hit the streets on Tuesday to protesting against the brutal lathi charge on them by police personnel, on Monday afternoon, as they were covering the ‘March to Nabanna’ conducted by the Left Front.
Reporters and cameraperson had gathered at Rabindra Sadan on Tuesday evening in central Kolkata. From there they walked about three kilometres to Lalbazar, the Kolkata Police headquarters. Scribes of all ages and almost all media houses were seen walking the distance in solidarity of those who had been victims of police atrocity.
Some of the victims with bandages and plasters also partook in the march. “No one formally organised this protest rally. People shared their opinions on social media and it was decided that we will put up a rally today. The turnout is very impressive. It shows that all is not lost,” said a reporter.
Members of the rally carried placards and wore black badges and also resorted to Gandhigiri to send their message across. Along the stretch at important crossings, wherever they met senior police officials, they greeted them with a smile and handed over a bunch of flowers, thanking them for raining sticks on media persons who were on assignments, covering the rally.
Within minutes, the entire event was viral on social media as reporters went live on facebook and TV channels televised it live.
“It is time we tell the police that they might have turned slaves to the ruling regime but we are not going to cow down. To add to the protest, media houses should stop covering police events for which they send us invitations. All of us should refrain from publishing and broadcasting puff pieces,” said a senior photographer.
While a team of six journalists met Commissioner of Kolkata Police, Rajiv Kumar, the other members of the rally waited on the road outside Lalbazar. “We have submitted still and moving images of police atrocity and would demand an inquiry and punishment of offending police officials,” said the chief of bureau of a Bengali news channel.
It was later found out that Kumar had assured that the matter would be investigated looking at the footages and in future, all journalists who would be covering such rallies would be given body protector an hour ahead of the event so that policemen would recognise them easily in case there is a lathi charge.