Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar claimed that the assault which occurred upon journalists outside the Ryan International School in Gurugram on Sunday was ‘unfortunate’ and shouldn’t have happened.
He further said that he had ordered action against the erring policemen. Hundreds of angry parents staged a protest outside the school for a CBI probe into the murder of a seven-year-old school boy.
Over 50 protestors and nine journalists from regional as well as national media were injured as the Gurgaon Police launched baton charges to quell the protest. The act also resulted in damage to equipment of some media persons.
“I have always supported the freedom of speech of the media and the press. It (the baton charging) is unfortunate and it shouldn’t have happened. I am ordering action against policemen responsible for it and they will be punished,” the CM said.
Khattar said the government will bear the medical treatment expenses of the journalists who were injured in the police action. He also assured best medical treatment to them.
“Medical treatment will be given to the injured journalists and all the losses will be compensated,” he said.
Always supported media's freedom of speech. Medical treatment will be given to injured journalists and losses will be compensated-ML Khattar pic.twitter.com/guQBlf3GeY— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2017
On the demand for a CBI probe into the murder of Class 2 boy Praduman Thakur, who was found with his throat slit in a school washroom on Friday last, Khattar said the accused has been arrested and police were speedily conducting the probe.
He said a deadline of a week has been set during which police will complete all other formalities to fast track the probe.
He, however, added that if the parents of the child still insist on a probe by the CBI or any other agency, the government is not averse to recommending the probe by premier investigating agency.
Earlier in Gurgaon today, opposition leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda condemned the state government’s “use of force” during the protest.
“Attack on media is condemnable. In a democracy, the government’s doesn’t work with batons and bullets. Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and raises concerns of the people, it should not be suppressed like that...,” he said, while the injured journalists in the Gurgaon Civil Hospital.
During his meeting the Praduman’s parents, Hooda backed their demand for a CBI probe into the gruesome killing.
“The Khattar government is inexperienced to rule the state. He has failed to handle the situation. His inexperience came to the fore today when police baton charged innocent protesters and journalists performing their duty on ground,” he said.
Hooda alleged that state government wants to “display power and might” to prove its point. “Assaulting journalists cannot be acceptable. It is highly condemnable in a democracy,” he added.
With PTI inputs