The Mumbai Police have arrested four people for allegedly assaulting television journalist Herman Gomes and his friend on Sunday. The accused – all residents of the city and aged between 20 years and 25 years – were arrested from Tardeo area late on Sunday.
The journalist, who works for Times Now, and his friend got out of a cab near his home in south Mumbai’s Gamdevi locality around 1.30 am, when the accused confronted them and then started assaulting the two. Gomes claimed it was a planned attack.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 2) Dnyaneshwar Chavan, however, said the incident may have occurred in the heat of the moment following an argument. “However, we are trying to go into the depth of the matter,” he added. The accused do not have any criminal record.
The Mumbai Press Club on Sunday condemned the attack on Gomes and demanded action against a police officer who allegedly refused to file a complaint initially. “The attacks on journalists, physical and otherwise, are on the rise,” the press club’s Secretary Lata Mishra said in a statement. “Recently, a right-wing organisation posted photos of India Today journalists, branding them as terrorists, for doing a series of stories. These acts are illegal and need to be dealt with immediate effect and resolve. We demand the arrests of attackers of Gomes and a strict action in complaints by India Today journalists.”
Last week, Rahul Kanwal, the news director of India Today channel, accused Hindutva outfit Sanatan Sanstha of attempting to intimidate it by releasing the names and photos of its investigative reporters who had carried out a sting operation on two members of the organisation.