Security beefed up in Zee Mumbai offices

MUMBAI: Two Zee Telefilms staffers of the ten injured in an attack by supposed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers on Zee's Andheri office have been hospitalised.

Extensive property, including computer monitors, CDs and video cassettes, office chairs and other furniture was wrecked by the 50 to 60 persons, who vandalised the offices around 12.45 pm today. Bearing NCP flags and chanting slogans owing allegiance to deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, the workers completely ransacked Zee Cinema and Zee Music business head Yogesh Radhakrishnan's office, which is close to the reception area.

Eyewitness reports say the workers smashed computers and furniture, threw out cassettes, and broke the entrance glass door at the third floor office. The office's security guard was allegedly bashed up by the miscreants. Among other employees injured were three women staffers - receptionist Carol, programming staff Geeta Salian and secretary Kshama. Carol, who suffered serious back injuries, has been rushed to an orthopedic hospital in Andheri.

The value of property loss has been estimated to be around Rs 600,000. Zee's other offices in the same building, on the sixth and fourth floor, however, escaped the miscreants' attention, as they were not aware of their existence, eyewitnesses were told.

According to Zee News channel reports, security at all the Zee offices in Mumbai has been subsequently beefed up.

In a hurriedly called press conference at 2.30 pm, Zee officials said that the NCP members may have been angered by a satirical show Ghadalay Bighadlay telecast on Zee's Alpha Marathi at 10.30 pm last night or by the stamp paper scam that Zee News busted in Nashik recently.

A first information report has been filed at the Andheri police station. According to Zee officials, residents of the area who witnessed the commotion, called up the police immediately. Zee Tele chairman Subhash Chandra addressed Zee employees after the media briefing. Among those present were a sombre looking Zee TV president Apurva Purohit and Films Division head Nittin Keni. Alpha Marathi head Nitin Vaidya, who had earlier attempted to placate the agitiated NCP workers at Zee's office in Worli, walked in a little later. Bhujbal, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet Chandra today shortly to discuss the issue.

Promising to take action against the "attack on media", Zee's director, commercial, BL Gautam said, "This is a democratic country. We will not be cowed down by the attack on us. We will fight back."

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