State police chief Loknath Behra said that a special team led by an Inspector General of Police will probe the attack.

Kerala Asianet TV office attacked over reports of Thomas Chandys alleged land encroachment
news Attack on Media Office Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 13:49

The office of the Alappuzha bureau of Asianet TV channel in Kerala was attacked on Thursday after the news network reported alleged involvement of a state minister in land encroachment.

The reports alleged that the minister used his money, power and influence as a politician to get away with it. 

It is believed that that attack was result of the channel's series of reports on the alleged encroachment of land by State Transport Minister Thomas Chandy at his plush resort in Alappuzha. 

Alappuzha reporter TV Prasad has been doing an investigative series of stories on the alleged land encroachment. Prasad was in the office at the time of the attack.

"I had slept late around 2 a.m. and this took place after I went to sleep. I have done 20 reports on the alleged irregularities against Chandy," Prasad told IANS.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered a probe into the attack. 

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala condemned the attack saying that everyone knew the reason behind the attack as Asianet TV had regularly exposed the acts of the state minister.

"The need of the hour is to order a high-level probe and the perpetrators of this crime should be exposed and action taken against them. This is a blatant attack on the freedom of press," said Chennithala.

A special team led by an IG will probe the attack. DGP Loknath Behra said that the police hope to get some leads from a CCTV camera.

CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said these attacks were not acceptable and strict action against perpetrators should be taken.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekheran termed the act as unpardonable.

The minister has maintained that he has done nothing wrong and announced on the floor of the assembly that he would quit as a legislator if the allegations against him were proved. The Chief Minister is yet to take a firm stand on the issue and has been guarded in his response.

The attack has evoked outrage on social media. 

"The attack on a media office is caused by those who fear news. Stern action should be taken against those who have carried it out," said Shammy Prabhakar of Mathrubhumi News.

"Those who believe to be safe by attacking journalists and media are fools. Many journalists were killed in the past in various ways and it still continues. But they never failed. I strongly protest the attack", said Saji Sugathan, a professional in Dubai.

"It won’t be enough to frighten the reporter. It is not possible to silence him with two stones. Strong protest against the attack," said S Lallu of News 18.


(With IANS Inputs)
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