Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, Jul 31 : Even as hunt goes on for the remaining accused who inhumanely attacked young boys and girls at a birthday party at Morning Mist Home Stay resort in Padil, police have pointed fingers on TV cameramen who reached the spot much before police could get the information on the incident.
On Saturday July 29, police filed an FIR against two TV cameramen who were at the spot while the attack on boys and girls was on.
Naveen Soorinje, journalist with a Kannada satellite channel (Kasturi News 24 x 7) who is one of the accused, spoke to daijiworld and said, "It is ridiculous to see such charges framed against me. I did my duty of calling a police officer, but what can I do if he did not pick the call?" he retaliated.
Naveen said that as soon he heard the news of the attack, he first called Mangalore rural circle inspector Raveesh Naik (Mob : 9480805330), but he did not respond to the call. "Then I asked TV9 cameraman to call the police, and he too did the same thing, and got the same result."
"A resident of Padil who I know informed me over the phone that a group of 30 people were passing by, and as their intention was not clear, he sensed some attack might happen, as the Morning Mist home stay is close by," he said. Responding to the phone call, he immediately left for the place along with the cameraman, he said.
"Without getting into the details, it was not appropriate to call the police as the intentions of the men may have been different. I did not want to call police for the wrong reasons," he said.
"But just when we reached there, we saw some men attacking the boys and the girls. I asked the cameraman to shoot, and begged the attackers not to hit the youngsters, but their number was more and they did not pay heed to my pleas."
"What surprised me was that the police reached the spot within 15 minutes, but no immediate action was taken. They were talking to attackers in such a friendly manner, as if police themselves had advance information !" said Naveen.
"Later I came to know that the attackers were under the impression that boys belonging to one community were enjoying with girls of another community, and that's the reason they wanted to attack. But in the end, their impression was proved wrong."
He claims that the attackers were under the influence of alcohol. There were hardly 4 to 5 journalists, and all of them tried to stop the attack.
"I have done my duty as a journalist, within the scope of the law and ethics of journalism. My question is why did the police let the attackers go free at the time of the incident? Why didn't they arrest them immediately ? If they were to catch a chain snatcher on the road, will they let him go or arrest him immediately ?" he questions.
"What I saw before my eyes that day was barbaric, and sad. I could not help them, but I tried my best. Because of my efforts, the issue is attracting national attention, and there's hope that the culprits will be punished severely. If there was no video, how would people have believed that such an incident had taken place? I would be happy if this issue helps us to stop such kind of incidents in the future," he says.
Note from Daijworld : We have been accused by some of the readers that we shot the video of the incident live, and that we had prior information of the attack.
We would like to clarify that the video published by us was bought from a third party. Though initially a raw version of the video was uploaded, upon request from some readers, we edited the video to blur the faces of the victims. Our intention was to show to the world how cruelly some people behave in the name of culture. Having watched our video, a human rights organization contacted us, and we are providing the raw video to the authorities concerned at the national as well international levels.
Neither did we have advance information, nor had anything to do with this incident.
Even in the 2009 pub attack, we faced a similar situation as our video was referred to by TV channels worldwide, and the administration accused us of having prior information. But later it was proved wrong.