Mangaluru/Thiruvanantapuram: Eight visual media reporters from Kerala were arrested in Mangaluru as they were covering the aftermath of the anti-CAA violence that rocked the city on Thursday resulting in two deaths.
Among those arrested were reporters and cameramen from frontline channels like Asianet and Media One.
The Karnataka police swooped on the reporters as they were at a local hospital where the relatives of the two people who were killed had gathered to collect the bodies from the mortuary.
Police commissioner Harsha asked the Kerala reporters to vacate the area immediately and later bundled them into a van. They showed their identity cards, but the police said they were fake and took them to a local police station where they were detained for over six hours.
The TV cameras, mikes and even cell phones were seized by the Karnataka police. The reporters alleged that they were not allowed to talk to one another and were denied food and drinking water.
Later, they were again bundled into a van and taken to the Kerala border where they were handed over to the Kerala police.
According to Union Minister D Sadananda Gowda and the local police, there were intelligence reports that miscreants had entered Mangaluru in the guise of reporters and were fomenting trouble.
The issue triggered protests across Kerala where media personnel held marches in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kasargode. Protestors of various political parties blocked buses from Karnataka even as senior leaders of the CPM and Congress condemned the police action.