Assault On Journalists At AIADMK MLAs’ Resort

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Chennai:  A group of journalists were allegedly heckled and their cameras and phones were snatched at a resort near Chennai that has turned into a fortress for lawmakers of the ruling AIADMK since a massive power tussle erupted between VK Sasikala and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

The journalists said they were manhandled by alleged strongmen blocking the only road to the Golden Bay resort, which is surrounded by backwaters.

The police did nothing, they said, when their cameras and mobile phones were snatched. Journalists sat on protests, demanding action.

Mr Panneerselvam, who is going to work today for the first time since he resigned last week, has announced an inquiry into the allegations. The 66-year-old has challenged Ms Sasikala’s claim to the Chief Minister’s post, saying he was forced to quit by her.

Journalists’ associations – the Madras Union of Journalists and the Tamil Nadu Union of Journalists – and DMK working president MK Stalin have condemned the attack.

Last night, the media arrived near the Golden Bay resort when it was learnt that Ms Sasikala was to address her party lawmakers. The only way to the resort, a public road, has been blocked, which has raised protests by the local people.

Since the lawmakers arrived in luxury buses last week, no one has been allowed access to the resort except for Ms Sasikala and top AIADMK leaders.

Mr Panneerselvam has alleged that the lawmakers are being held captive, an assertion that has been denied by Ms Sasikala.

Mr Stalin questioned why the police are “silently watching the atrocities of the Sasikala group of AIADMK”.