Friday, Jul 12, 2002
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By T.S. Shankar
Mediapersonnel swarmed the Anna international terminal in the morning as the MDMK leader was scheduled to arrive by an Air India international. But he flew Jet Airways flight from Mumbai and arrived at the Kamaraj domestic terminal.
As the MDMK leader reached the arrival hall shortly after landing at 4.40 p.m. the party leaders raised slogans praising him. And the battery of waiting mediapersons, especially news cameraman mounted makeshift barricades and supporting pillars in the airport complex, to catch the arrest of the leader, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for his pro-LTTE speech at a meeting at Tirumangalam near Madurai on June 29. And as Mr. Vaiko boarded the van, a posse of mediapersons went behind, photographing and videographing the police convoy. At this juncture, a CISF armed policeman not only attacked a cameraman of a private TV channel but also threatened to shoot him down, by pointing a gun at him.
This sparked a protest by the mediapersons, who not only demanded an apology from the policeman, but also an assurance that such attacks on newsmen would not be recur. The top brass of the CISF wanted the media to calm down. The agitated mediamen, however, demonstrated in front of the main entrance of Kamaraj Domestic Terminal for a few minutes and demanded that the CISF constable, Babu, be produced before them.
Later, the standoff came to an end, as the CISF constable apologised before the mediamen in the presence of S.R. Jangidd, DIG, Chengalpattu (East) District.
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