NEW DELHI: A group of reporters went into hiding this afternoon in a bathroom in a school building in Jhansi after Samajwadi Party workers standing outside threatened to break down the door.
They assaulted the journalists earlier when a reporter questioned a candidate from the party about his defeat in the declaration of results today. When they turned on the reporters, the police allegedly refused to intervene. The reporters then rushed into the school which had been converted into a media centre for today‘s counting of votes.
The NDTV crew‘s camera has been smashed. Vinod Gautam, who reports for NDTV, said, "There are so many of them outside. We do not know how we will go home." He also said that the police stationed outside are still refusing to take any action against the Samajwadi workers.
NDTV‘s other reporters in UP contacted senior Samajwadi leaders shortly before 7 pm, but the journalists remained under threat until last reports.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Union of Journalists condemned the attack, saying ‘it is deplorable that despite repeated appeals to police stationed nearby and higher police officials, no action has been taken to free the journalists who have virtually been held captive by anti-social elements for a long time.
The DUJ called upon the Uttar Pradesh police to immediately intervene and stop attacks on journalists in the state. It further urged upon the Press Council of India to initiate a suo moto enquiry into all such incidents that have been reported on counting day in various states.
If immediate steps are not taken, the DUJ has called for a united front against such murderous attacks.
The Samajwadi Party is set to form the next government after its win in the assembly elections.