Kannur: A television journalist was on Monday allegedly roughed up by a senior legislator of Kerala's ruling Left Democratic Front after a chat show. The legislator denied the charge and accused the journalist of taking a partisan stand during the show.
Asianet TV channel reporter Shahjahan said several issues were raised in the show featuring Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) legislator P. Jayarajan, including the allegations against P.Sasi, who had to step down as the CPI-M's Kannur district secretary. Jayarajan is currently the acting district secretary.
'During the show, there was several times a heated discussion between the supporters of the CPI-M and the Congress-led opposition but the show ended peacefully. But after that I was surrounded by several CPI-M supporters and tried to escape by moving towards the leaders of various parties participating in the show. It was here I was roughed up by Jayarajan,' said Shahjahan.
He added that afterwards, he also received a telephone call from Jayarajan threatening him with dire consequences.
Later Asianet TV channel aired the recorded conversation of Jayarajan, where he said that they know that Shahjahan had taken money from the Congress to tarnish the CPI-M's image.
Jayarajan, however, denied the allegation that he manhandled Shahjahan.
'It was totally wrong that Shahjahan was manhandled. I pacified the angry audience. Shahjahan behaved in a partisan manner during the debate,' he said.
Reacting to the controversy, Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy flayed the intolerance of the CPI-M.
'It appears the CPI-M is loosing its patience and they have totally acted against the freedom of the press through this barbaric act. Jayarajan has to apologise for this and we are all waiting to hear the response from the CPI-M,' he said.
A large number of other opposition leaders also condemned the incident and expressed their concern ovr the way the CPI-M leaders and their supporters were behaving.