11 March 2009: Then They Came For Me!

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Letter, Media, Slice Of Life)

Respected Sir/Madam,
I, Samvartha a reporter with The Hindu in Mangalore, was on my way back from the press club (at Ladyhill) to Jyothi Circle by bus and at Bunts Hostel circle our bus was stopped by a mob of Sangha Parivar outfit right in front of the office of Hindu Samajotsav to be held on March 15. Everyone in the bus was unaware as to why the bus was stopped and so was i. Then i noticed that many a buses were stopped ahead of our bus and the cadres were tying saffron flags with the ‘om’ symbol to all the buses and also auto-rickshaws. Seeing this i got down and started making notes, after informing Govind Sir what was happening.

Taking the byte of one Jagadish Shenava of VHP i walked towards the Jyothi Circle to speak to some bus drivers and auto drivers as at the traffic signal. I spoke to a handful of people and then came back to the spot where the buses were being stopped and flags were being tied.

On my return i noticed that the Kadri police had arrived. I spoke to the police and then i saw this leader of one of the outfits whom i had met earlier in a programme once. So i decided to take his byte too and went to him, then there was a cadre who came running and started saying “he reports against us and so does their newspaper” listening to that few other cadres surrounded me along with this ‘leader’. Once they surrounded me one of them said “run before we break your limbs” another said “you better report in our favour and if you write against us we will break your limbs” and the ‘leader’ said in a sophesticated manner, unlike the rustic manner of the other cadres who spoke to me, “if you want to be in Mangalore then you better be with us.”

Then one of the cadres said that there is a press meet. So i started walking towards the place where press meet was to be held, which was around ten steps away from where this incident took place. As i neared the place another cadre stopped me and asked me “what is in your bag? there might be a bomb, there are many terrorists here” but then i managed to answer him and be present while Mr. Shenav was addressing the press. When i was stopped and asked what was in my bag, the police were standing next to that man and they also questioned as to who i was.

After the press meet, i left the place.

I have filed a complaint and case has been registered.

Thank You.

Peace,
Samvartha.

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