A TDP MLA, Amanchi Krishna Mohan, has landed in trouble in Andhra’s Prakasam district, after his brother, Amanchi Swamulu, and other aides chased down and thrashed a journalist in full public view on the streets of Chirala.
In video footage of the incident, the journalist can be seen being punched, kicked and beaten with a stick by a group of people in the midst of a public street. With the street crowded, there are a number of bystanders witness to the assault, but all of them stand helplessly by, after a couple of people who intervene are brushed aside angrily. The assault eventually seems to stop after a policeman intervenes.
According to reports, M Nagarjuna Reddy, a senior journalist for a local television channel who also runs a monthly magazine, had recently published a report on certain financial dealings of Krishna Mohan and Swamulu. This dealt with the duo allegedly fraudulently obtaining loans meant for economically backward persons.
Angered by the report, Swamulu and others chased Nagarjuna on Sunday down streets near Gandhi Statue Centre and beat him up.
With video evidence of the incident being available, Krishna Mohan has not denied the incident, but has defended it. Speaking to CNN News 18, he said that the assault was an emotional reaction to “abusive language” that the journalist had used against them. “This is not gunda raj. He used abusive language. He is not journalist he is ‘pseudo-naxal’,” CNN News-18 quoted him as saying.
The Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists Federation has strongly condemned the incident, and is petitioning the local administration and the state government to take immediate action. G Anjaneyulu, General Secretary of APWJF, said that all district units are writing to the district police and the Collector, demanding the immediate arrest of the MLA’s brothers and all others involved in the assault. The Amravati unit has also submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister in regard to the issue, he said.