Someone made an announcement on the loudspeaker, and soon about 300 people gathered.

Mangaluru journalists roughed up by villagers after madarassa allegedly made kids stand in rain
news Media Thursday, September 08, 2016 - 13:05

Four journalists in Mangaluru were roughed up and chased by villagers when they went to report on a madarassa which allegedly made children stand in the rain on more than one occasion.

The journalists, who worked with three different television channels, had gone to the Juma Masjid in Suralpady, about 20km from Mangaluru, to report on a story. However, the people at the mosque objected to the reporters’ presence and began pushing them around. They even suffered a few blows.

Mohammed Irshad, a reporter with the yet-to-be-launched Kannada channel Suddi TV, told The News Minute that he had received a call from a parent who alleged that the teachers at the madarassa attached to the Juma Masjid were ill-treating students. He decided to go to the mosque along with BTV reporter Bharat, and camerapersons Wilfy of TV9 Kannada and Nagesh of BTV. They reached the mosque at around 8am.

“We had just taken a couple of file shots about a dozen men came out and surrounded us. We tried to tell them why we were there, but they didn’t listen. Soon, someone announced on the microphone, ‘Some people have come to insult religion, everybody come.’ Within no time, around 300 people gathered,” Irshad said.

For the next two hours, things were pretty heated. “We were chased around and abused. Nagesh suffered a couple of blows, but I managed to escape. They snatched our mics away, damaged one camera, and Wilfy’s car,” Irshad said.

Although one PCR vehicle did come to assist the journalists, the crowd could not be swayed. The whole ordeal ended only after the arrival of the sub-inspector at around 11 am.

“Some of the leaders of the mosque later apologised to us and told us they would bear the expenses of the repairs to our equipment,” Irshad said. An FIR has been registered by the Bajpe Police.

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