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Arrest Us or Give Water: News18 Scribe Covering CAA Protests Recounts 7-Hr Detention in Mangaluru

News18 cameraman Sumesh Morazha said the policemen had refused to give them even a cup of water. He said all means of communication with the outside world were cut off during those seven hours of detention.

News18.com

Updated:December 20, 2019, 9:35 PM IST
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Arrest Us or Give Water: News18 Scribe Covering CAA Protests Recounts 7-Hr Detention in Mangaluru
File photo of Police personnel firing tear gas shells during a clash with the protestors participating in a rally against the amended Citizenship Act and NRC, in Mangaluru.

Thiruvananthapuram: Journalists and camera crew of TV channels in Kerala, who had interviewed relatives of those killed in the December 19 police firing during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, were released seven hours after being detained by police in front of the Government Wenlock hospital on Friday.

They were taken to Thalappady bordering Kerala from Mangaluru south police station where they were kept till late in the afternoon.

Narrating the harrowing experience the journalists had to undergo, News18 cameraman Sumesh Morazha said the policemen had refused to give them even a cup of water. He said all means of communication with the outside world were cut off during those seven hours of detention.

“We were at the hospital around 8am this morning. The shooting went on for about 15 minutes. Suddenly, the superintendent of police came, saying we had no permission to be there and directed us to move outside the gate. As shooting resumed, a team of policemen said no mediapersons without ID cards would be allowed to stay. When we showed ours, we were told journalists from Kerala are not allowed.”

“We were almost forcibly taken to the police van, our camcorders seized. Our mobile phones were in their custody. We could hear our mobile phones ringing. But our plea to pick the calls were not heard. For about five hours, we were seated inside the van and hardly given a cup of water. We were shouting either to arrest us or provide us with some water to drink, but to no avail. The situation remained the same even after we were taken to the nearest police station. Nobody where were we for all the while,” said Sumesh.

The News 18 team, along with journalists from News 24, Media One, Asianet and Mathrubhumi, were reporting from the hospital premises where the post-mortem of those killed in Mangaluru on Thursday was was taking place.

Scribes from other television channels had also camped in the area for live reportage.

The move had triggered massive outrage in Karala, where cutting across political affiliations, top leaders on Friday raised strong objections and demanded that they be released at the earliest.

(As told to Meera Manu)

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