JALANDHAR: After landing in a row with the media corps yesterday, Jalandhar Police Commissioner Pravin Kumar Sinha today personally and publicly apologized to the senior journalist who he had assaulted at a local hotel, with Chief Minister Amarinder being only a few feet away during the fracas yesterday. The apology came in the presence of senior journalists and photojournalists during a meeting of the media fraternity convened by the local Deputy Commissioner.
Sinha and a member of the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s security detail had yesterday misbehaved with HS Bawa, a senior journalist. Journalists had met CM Amarinder Singh yesterday, demanding action.
Amarinder Singh had assured action "within 24 hours,” and while journalists accepted Sinha’s public apology and assurance that such an incident will never happen again, media fraternity here remains miffed and awaits action against the member of the Chief Minister's security detail who had also abused, misbehaved and manhandled the scribe.
Commissioner Sinha assumed responsibility for yesterday’s obnoxious happening. In contrast, some big-wigs in the CM security are said to be still keen to shield the culprit among their cadre.
Sinha had, on Thursday manhandled and shoved around the senior journalist at Hotel Radisson immediately after a press conference addressed by Amarinder Singh while clearing the way for the CM’s entourage.
After coming to know of the fracas, local journalists rallied in support of their assaulted colleague and met Capt Amarinder Singh and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu right there at the hotel and lodged a strong protest.
Deputy Commissioner, Jalandhar, who was tasked by the CMO to sort out the matter to avoid any further spill over of journalists’ anger, convened a meeting with the media persons at his residence today where the Police Commissioner tendered the unconditional apology. The Commissioner said what happened was 'unintentional' and 'unfortunate.'
The Police Commissioner also assured the media persons that though it was not his area of jurisdiction, he would certainly request the concerned senior officers to take suitable action against the member of CM's security team involved in the incident.
Those present included IP Singh-Times of India, Deepkamal-The Tribune, Anju Agnihotri-Indian Express, Rajeev Bhaskar-Punjab Tribune, Pal Singh Nauli-Punjabi Tribune, Surinder Pal-Amar Ujala, Nikhil-DainikMail, Jaspal Kainth-Punjab Express News, Jatinder Sharma-India TV, Davinder-MH1, Pardeep Pandit-Hindustan Times, Amandeep-Punjabi Jagran, Amritpal Singh Jangi-Fastway, Rajesh Kapil-Jai Hind, Pawan Dhupar-Living India, Sarabjit Singh Kaka-The Tribune, Anil Sharma-TOI and Vishnu-YesPunjab.
(The text of this story has been adapted from the version drafted and arrived at collectively by the concerned members of the media fraternity, including those present at the meeting today. – Ed.)