Andhra Jyothi, a popular Telugu Daily, published a news analysis feature titled Baduga Nethalu on its front page in its issue today. The article is critical of some leaders of the scheduled castes organizations. Without mentioning any specific names, the article questioned the integrity of leaders of these caste outfits in trying to solve the problems of their caste members. The article was also critical of the political alignments these leaders are forging with other parties.
As soon as the newspaper hit the stands, the staff of Andhra Jyothi at its head-office at Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, started receiving threatening calls from strangers. Anticipating trouble, the management of Andhra Jyothi informed the police and a picket was posted at its office in the morning. Since no untoward incident happened until 3.00 pm, the posse of policemen left for lunch, leaving just two constables for guard duty.
Suddenly, a mob of around 30 people descended at the Andhra Jyothi head office. They pelted stones and broke the glass panes. Later, they entered the reception area and the advertisement office, poured petrol and set fire to the furniture and furnishings. They raised slogans and warned the staff of dire consequences, if the newspaper wrote any articles on the issues of disadvantaged castes.
Interestingly, the mob came along with the crew and OB van of news channel N-TV . Later, Krishna Madiga, a leader of a wing of scheduled castes, claimed responsibility for the attack and warned the newspaper not to publish stories against the interests of the scheduled castes.
According to reports, Andhra Jyothi offices at Visakhapatnam, Khammam and Warangal had also been attacked. Details of loss, extent of damage and injuries to staff are yet to be received.
Senior journalists and media personnel condemned this attack on the media. Meanwhile, police have arrested two persons in connection with the attack. According to sources, the police may also arrest Krishna Madiga in this connection.
For images about the incident clck here