The police intervened and rescued the reporter and camera person, who was being forced to delete the visuals.

Screen grab
news Crime Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 19:38

A man tries to cover the lens of the video camera with his phone while it is rolling. As the phone is moved away from the camera, he then tries to snatch the mic from the reporter who is standing in front of a government beverage depot in Kerala while he was reporting. What ensues is a scuffle where the workers of this beverage depot are seen intimidating the reporter and cameraperson of a Malayalam news channel Janam TV.

The incident took place on Thursday in front of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation’s depot at Vellayil in Kozhikode district. Abilash and Midhun, reporter and camera person, were attacked by a group of headload workers, when they were unloading a truck at the depot. According to sources, the workers are part of both Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

In the video, the workers were seen stopping Abilash from reporting and cornering him. The TV news crew were trying to show that despite lockdown, load workers were still working in the godown.

“What we are seeing in visuals, the Kozhikode beverages godown...,” said the reporter who was then interrupted by a man in a blue shirt. The mic was then snatched from him.

The video then cuts to show the reporter standing at the depot's gate and saying, “They are saying we cannot enter the government’s godown… they are workers… the visuals show the workers stopping us.”

At this point, more workers can be seen coming out of the depot and interrupting. One man then blocks the camera and is heard asking the camera person, “What are you saying?”

Meanwhile, another group of workers is seen threatening the camera person and demanding him to delete the visuals or format it. As they continued to intimidate him, the team of policemen arrived at the spot and dispersed the workers.

Abilash and Midhun sustained minor injuries in the scuffle and have been hospitalised at the Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode.

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Talking to TNM, Vellayil Police said that a case has been registered. “We have taken a case against six identifiable men under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with a deadly weapon), 147 (punishment for rioting), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code,” said the official.

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