Jul 16, 2011 at 12:30pm IST

Walkout over attack on mediapersons

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition staged a walkout in the Assembly on Friday in protest against the failure of the government to take stringent action against the policemen and the henchmen of Dr Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam, managed by CSI Church, who had attacked mediapersons here the other day.

Earlier, opposing the admissibility of the adjournment motion on the issue brought by E P Jayarajan of the CPM, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the House that two policemen were suspended for attacking Indiavision news channel Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief Marshal V Sebastian and Asianet camera crew.

Marshal, Asianet reporter Sarath Krishna and cameraman Ayyappan had suffered injuries in the attack.

Jayarajan said that the injuries of Marshal, who had been admitted to a private hospital, was quite serious. He also alleged that the attack was carried out by a team led by DCC member and Nemom block panchayat member Edwin George.

Jayarajan said that four persons had been arrested in connection with the attack on Reporter channel's Idukki reporter M S Aneesh Kumar allegedly by land mafia. Oommen Chandy said that cases had been registered against 28 others who attacked Asianet News Channel reporter Sarath Krishna and cameraman Ayyappan. He also promised stringent action against those who attack journalists.

Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan, before walking out of the House, said that the action taken by the government so far was not satisfactory. The attacks were over a news item that the television channel had aired on July 13 claiming that the CSI Medical College at Karakonam had collected huge donations for admissions to MBBS course.

Jayarajan, while moving the notice for the adjournment motion, said that Mathrubhumi reporter V B Unnithan himself had alleged that one of the ministers in the present UDF Ministry was protecting the accused in that case. However, Government Chief Whip P C George said in a press conference later that Unnithan himself had told that he had not made any such allegations. George said: "I along with Labour Minister Shibu Baby John had called Unnithan on the request of the Chief Minister.'' George also read out a note from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy refuting the charge made by Jayarajan.

The Asianet team was attacked when they reached the LMS Compound to cover a protest regarding irregularities in admissions to the CSI Medical College at Karakonam. Their camera was snatched and the video cassette was seized by attackers.