A TV journalist was injured after men at a Indian Youth Congress rally allegedly stone-pelted a contingent of journalists in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Satender Chauhan, a deputy editor at Aaj Tak, suffered a head injury while covering the Youth Congress demonstration against Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar in Sector 15 in Chandigarh. Chauhan told Newslaundry that he could not confirm whether the men who threw stones at him were Congress workers.
The rally was scheduled to take place from Congress Bhawan in the state capital to the chief minister's residence to protest the alleged brutality of the Haryana police against farmers protesting the contentious farm bills in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.
According to a journalist at the scene, a dozen men approached the media contingent reporting from outside Congress Bhawan at around 1.30 pm and accused them of skewed coverage of the ongoing farmers’ protest.
“The men were hostile and they surrounded us. There was a police party nearby which intervened and tried to calm them,” the journalist said. “But after they had been taken to a distance, they began stone-pelting.”
Chauhan took a stone to his head and was treated at a nearby clinic. He received four stitches.
Speaking to Newslaundry, Chauhan said he could not confirm if the stone-pelting men were from the Congress. “But it was their protest and most of those gathered there were from the Congress,” he said.
Barinder Dhillon, the president of the Indian Youth Congress in Punjab, told Newslaundry that he strongly condemned the attack on Chauhan, but did not think that the stone-pelters were Congress workers. “I issued a formal apology to the journalist because I was responsible for the protest here, but I think some people misused our platform,” Dhillon said. “The media’s coverage of the farmers’ protest is biased but this can’t be a way to protest against it. If we identify the men, I’ll file a police complaint myself.”
Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal tweeted to condemn the “grievous attack” by Congress “hoodlums” on Chauhan.