A day after a group of RSS members allegedly attacked a journalist and a photographer at Malappuram press club, the police arrested two RSS members on Friday.
The Malappuram police, under the supervision of Sub-inspector Binu, arrested 30-year-old Shibu and Dileep Kumar (30) in the wee hours of Friday morning.
SI Binu told TNM that the arrests were made at around 1 a.m.
"Both Shibu and Dileep are residents of Vazhakkad. They are RSS members and we arrested them from their houses," the SI said.
The police have charged both the accused under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting),148 (rioting), 323, 324 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 ( wrongfully restraining a person), 392 (robbery) read with 149 IPC, 461 (Dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property) and 506 (criminal intimidation ).
The two accused will be produced at the Malappuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court later on Friday, the police said.
Arrests were made following a complaint filed by Fuad, a photographer with Malayalam daily Chandrika. Fuad and Shahabas, a reporter with the same daily, took pictures of RSS members manhandling a biker, during a protest march on Thursday.
Speaking to TNM, Shahabas had said:
"We were outside the press club and saw the protesters approaching from the Manjeri Road. On the same path, a biker was approaching the group of protesters, when the bike broke down. This led to a verbal spat between the two and eventually lead to some protesters beating him up. We took photographs of the attack and nearly ten protesters followed us into the Press Club and snatched Fuad’s phone and destroyed his camera. Three had their faces covered, and they even broke a few chairs at the press club."
Following the attack, protest demonstrations were held by media persons in various districts, including Malappuram and Thrissur.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the incident through a Facebook post on Friday. He said that the government has taken the case seriously and that police have been ordered to take strict action against the accused.
"The government will take action against attacks on the freedom of press," the CM wrote in Malayalam.