Separate meetings with lawyers, journos fail to make headway

Written by: Pti
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Lawyers attacking a media van
Bangalore, Mar 6: The separate meetings convened by Karnataka government here to end the stalemate between advocates and journalists over the March 2 attack on mediapersons and police personnel at the city civil court complex failed to make headway on Tuesday.

"There is no point talking to the government at this stage until some kind of conducive environment is created between newsmen and advocates to ensure safety to journalists covering court proceedings," TV9 and News9 Managing Director Mahendra Mishra told reporters after the meeting.

The government had called for separate meetings with journalists and advocates after the March 2 incident. Suvarna News Head Vishweshwar Bhat expressed dismay over the government's 'tardy' approach in acting against the culprits, saying only five lawyers of the 25, against whom cases had been booked, have been arrested so far.

"The state seems to be protecting the culprits. Why is the government not able to identify culprits and book them?" Mishra said.

State Parliamentary Affairs and Law Minister Suresh Kumar said the meetings would be reconvened in the next two days. The minister, who held a separate meeting with lawyers, said they were keen to resume court proceedings from tomorrow if journalists extended cooperation to them.

Kumar said the government has acceeded to their demand for immediately shifting the Lokayukta court from civil court premises where the clash had occured. He said Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda would announce tomorrow the name of the investigation officer of the judicial commission probing the attack.

Kumar also said the government was thinking of providing a separate space for scribes to cover court proceedings. On Monday, journalists intensified their protests seeking stronger action for the violence against them even as lawyers decided to boycott courts indefinitely demanding compensation for colleagues injured in police baton charge that day.

Mediapersons had presented a memorandum to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and demanded a CBI probe if the incident could be probed outside the judicial purview or by CID or Lokayukta if the probe was to be held within the government's purview.


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