Reporters and lensmen of Malayalam news channels covering the indefinite strike of autorickshaw drivers at Palarivattom were manhandled by the drivers on Thursday morning.
When journalists protested against police inaction over the incident, they were dragged into the Palarivattom Janamaithri police station and brutally beaten up. Later, City Police Commissioner suspended two police officials over it and registered a case against guilty autorickshaw drivers. He said they will be arrested soon.
Anju Raj, reporter of Asianet News; its cameraman Ronny Joseph; Anil, cameraman of Indivision; Renjith, reporter of Jaihind TV, and Solamon Jacob, lensman of Jeevan TV, were injured in the attack by the autorickshaw drivers.
Following this, journalists from all media organisations gathered at the police station and protested against police inaction.
After getting direction from Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, City Police Commissioner K G James arrived at the police station and suspended Shamsudheen, Additional Sub Inspector, and another civil police officer. In the morning, protesters were blocking autorickshaws plying at the Palarivattom area. While covering this, autorickshaw drivers attacked Anju Raj, Ronny Joseph and Anil.
Even though these mediapersons gave a complaint against the autorickshaw drivers at Palarivattom police station, the police did not take any action. On this, they, along with other journalists, protested in front of the police station.
The policemen took them inside the police station and beat them up. Anju Raj and Renjith are still admitted at Ernakulam general hospital.
Jazeera, who was at the police station as part of her protest dharna against Kochouseph Chittilappilly, witnessed the incident and gave a statement against the policemen to the City Police Commissioner.
Following this, the police officials were suspended.
One of the suspended officials, Shamsudheen, had attacked journalists in Kochi on two previous occasions.
The City Police Commissioner said an investigation over the incident has been launched and the two policemen would remain suspended until the probe against them is not completed.
If they are found guilty, further disciplinary action will be taken against them.