In a shocking incident, Asianet News' office in Alappuzha was attacked by a group of unidentified assailants in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
The miscreants entered the office premises and vandalised a car that belonged to the news channel. The attack is suspected to have happened after 2 am. Alappuzha bureau reporter TV Prasad and driver were in the office at the time of the incident.
The police reached the spot in the morning and registered a case. The DGP has directed the Alappuzha SP to form a special investigation team to probe into the incident.
Asianet News had recently carried a series of news stories related to encroachment allegations against transport minister and NCP leader Thomas Chandy, and this is suspected to be the reason behind the attack.
Meanwhile, several leading politicians, including Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, former Union defence minister AK Antony, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, BJP state chief Kummanam Rajasekharan, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan, have condemned the incident as an attack on the freedom of press and sought strict action against the accused.
"The attack happened at a time when serious allegations were levelled against a member of the cabinet. So a high-level probe should be conducted to bring out the truth," Chennithala stated.
"This is an attack on the freedom of press. It is the media's duty to carry news and bring out corruption. Any show of intolerance towards it should be nipped in the bud," Antony pointed out.