BENGALURU: We have heard stories of high-handed corporators behaving rudely with the public. But this Cottonpet ward corporator of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) illegally detained The New Indian Express photographer Pushkar V, threatening him with dire consequences — for taking pictures of civic works on Cottonpet Main Road in front of the police station.
Pushkar was on his way to Majestic on Wednesday morning when he saw the road completely dug up. The movement of motor vehicles was banned due to the works. He started clicking photos and spoke to a shopkeeper if the work was causing any problems to pedestrians and shopkeepers. Just when he was speaking to the shopkeeper, a man in his 20’s knocked on Pushkar’s shoulder and said the area corporator, who was in a temple close by, wanted to see him.
Pushkar went with the man only to find Cottonpet ward corporator D Pramod with around 10 men, who claimed to be his followers.Pramod yelled at Pushkar for taking pictures, although the latter explained to him that he was only doing his job. Pramod then asked Pushkar if he was writing an article on it, and when he said ‘yes’, Pramod threatened to put him behind bars if he wrote anything.
It was almost 30 minutes later that Pushkar was allowed to go. But when he was near his bike, they again summoned him. The corporator threatened him again not to write anything about his ward.When a TNIE reporter spoke to Pramod later, he said, “My opposition tried to defame me by joining with TNIE. I will file a complaint against the photographer.”
However, within 30 minutes, Gandhinagar MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao’s personal assistant called to say that Pramod had committed a mistake and requested TNIE to settle the issue by meeting with Gundu Rao.
Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said, “I will not support such attitude by corporators. Though I am not completely aware of what happened, they shouldn’t have stopped him from taking photos.”