Thiruvananthapuram: A police officer in Kerala’s Kozhikode has been suspended pending an enquiry, after he got into a scuffle with media personnel for the second time.
DGP Loknath Behara told reporters here that Sub Inspector P M Vimod was suspended pending an enquiry.
The incident occurred when media personnel had gone to the police station to take back the vehicle of a television channel, which was confiscated by police.
The police officer allegedly abused media personnel and when they protested, allegedly entered into a scuffle with them and dragged some of them inside the police station and locked them up, journalists said.
Earlier in the day, the officer had prevented three media personnel from covering a case at the district court stating he was acting on the instructions of the district magistrate.
However, the magistrate informed Kerala High court Registrar that he had not given any such instructions.
The officer took the three media personnel to the police station in the police jeep and kept them there for some time. As media personnel protested, the three were allowed to leave.
Members of the media took out rallies at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Delhi, protesting against the incident. The DGP had sought a report to find out if there was any “high handedness” on part of the Sub Inspector.
Mr Behara said “responsible officers should not behave in this manner. What I saw on Television, I was unhappy. The SI has done a mistake. There is nothing for me to justify.”
Asked if a case would be registered against the SI and if he would be arrested, the DGP said he had not received any formal complaint of assault from media personnel so far.
“You are saying an assault took place. I have not received any complaint so far,” he said.
“The arrest can happen if there is a criminal case. Now prima facie there was a misconduct,” he said.
Tensions have been prevailing in several courts including Kochi High Court and Thiruvananthapuram local courts in past few weeks with media rooms in some courts even being shut down.
Journalists have claimed that advocates have interfered and attacked them while reporting from the court, especially in the case where a government pleader was allegedly involved in a case of molestation.
The advocates on the other hand have alleged of media high handedness, without any restraint.