Journalists covering Burrabazar fire assaulted

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Kolkata, Jan 14 (UNI) As the 12th floor of the Nandaram market continued to bellow out huge balls of fire, the ground got heated today after vandals attacked journalists, leaving five injured and damaging cameras and OB vans.

The incident started at around 1130 AM when a few private television journalists were reporting live from the spot.

A grpup of people, allegedly armed with iron rods and sticks and sporting blue badges, began a rampage attacking the scribes indiscriminately and damaging their cameras and OB vans.

The assault continued for the next 10-12 minutes leaving five reporters injured. One of them was taken to hospital.

''I have heard about the incident. An additional commissioner of police has been appointed to investigate the matter. A police contingent has been rushed to the spot,'' City Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty told UNI.

OB vans of NDTV, TimesNow, Star Ananda, Kolkata TV and Zee TV were attacked. At least one camera was stolen and five were damaged.

However, the Burrabazar Traders Association pleaded innocence and were apologising to the scribes over the public address system. They also sought the media's support.

Meanwhile, a 6-member team from the Rajasthan government, led by Education Minister Kalicharan Saraf, visited the site. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has also taken up the matter with her West Bengal counterpart.

Former Vice-President Bhaironsingh Sekhawat is scheduled to come here tomorrow and visit the spot.

UNI BA PL/src1419

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