The office of the Alappuzha bureau of Asianet TV channel in Kerala was attacked on Thursday after the news network reported alleged involvement of a state minister in land encroachment. According to an anonymous source, the attack was result of the channel’s series of reports on the alleged enchroachment of land by State Transport Minister Thomas Chandy at his plush resort, near here.
The channel’s reporter T.V. Prasad, who reported the enchroachment, said he came to know about the attack in the morning.
“I had slept late around 2 a.m. and this took place after I went to sleep. I have done 20 reports on the alleged irregularities against Chandy,” said Prasad.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala condemned the attack saying that everyone knew the reason behind the attack as Asianet TV had regularly exposed the acts of the state minister.
“The need of the hour is to order a high-level probe and the perpetrators of this crime should be exposed and action taken against them. This is a blatant attack on the freedom of press,” said Chennithala.
State police chief Loknath Behra said that a special team led by an Inspector General of Police will probe the attack. The police hope to get some leads from a CCTV camera.
Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said these attacks were not acceptable and strict action against perpetrators should be taken.
State Bharatiya Janata Party President Kummanem Rajasekheran termed the act as unpardonable.
Asianet TV in the past had done several reports on Chandy’s involvement in alleged land grab. The TV reports alleged that the minister used his money, power and influence as a politician to get away with it.
Chandy has maintained that he has done nothing wrong and announced in the floor of the assembly that he would quit as a legislator if the allegations against him were proved. He said his only interest was to develop tourism in Kerala.