Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Samajwadi Party minister assaults media persons

-Thetimesofindia:
LUCKNOW: Ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Natwar Lal Goel, also chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Khadi Gram Udyog, having status of minister of state, on Tuesday allegedly assaulted two photo journalists of Hindi dailies, Ashutosh Gupta and Harjindar Singh, for taking photographs of the alleged unauthorized construction being carried out by the minister on a disputed and encroached land in the Kaiserbagh area of the state capital. 

The police, which was initially reluctant to take action, lodged an FIR and took Goel and his manager Ravi Singh into custody when journalists staged a demonstration. The journalists also lodged a protest with chief minister's office. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is in Delhi for some party work, is expected to arrive in the night. The journalists said that they will meet the chief minister and would ask him to sack the minister. 

Ashutosh Gupta claimed that he was assaulted by the minister and his manager when he was taking photographs. They also attacked Harjindar Singh when he tried to intervene. The two photo journalists called up other media persons and police. The police rushed to the spot but took action. However, as the number of media persons swelled, the police took the minister and his manager under heavy security to the Kaiserbagh police station. The minister, however, has denied all allegations and alleged that the photo journalists misbehaved with him. 

This is not the first time that any SP minister is in the news for the wrong reasons. Recently, minister of state for revenue and rehabilitation Vinod Kumar Singh was forced to resign after he was accused of kidnapping and threatening chief medical officer of Gonda for not recruiting candidates recommended by him. Earlier, three ministers Aridaman Singh, Mehboob Ali and Ambika Chaudhary have been accused of murder, attempt to murder and bulldozing houses of poor respectively. Of 46 ministers in Akhilesh cabinet, 27 have criminal cases against them in police records.

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