MALKANGIRI: Malkangiri Police conducted a late night raid on Friday to arrest five journalists for allegedly manhandling doctors who were on duty at a community health centre.
Sources said, the five had gone to the CHC at Korukonda to report on issues plaguing the patients. While speaking to some of them, few doctors apparently stopped them. This led to a scuffle that was telecast on a news channel, bringing the matter to the fore.
Doctors then lodged an FIR against the scribes and police acted swiftly. Late in the night, the five were picked up from their houses by police.
According to police, the doctors charged the scribes for obstructing them in the discharge of duty and assault. Charges were slapped under sections 384, 332, 353 and 186 of the IPC.
A counter FIR by the journalists against three doctors of the CHC was not registered even a day after the incident, the scribes said.
“Police is trying to curb our freedom of speech by carrying out unnecessary midnight raids on our fellow journalists and not registering a legitimate FIR against the doctors. We will take up the matter at the highest level,” said Duryodhan Patra, a senior journalist.
Scribes on Sunday staged a dharna in front of Malkangiri Model police station alleging police excesses besides demanding the release of the five. Contacted, Collector Vishal Singh said he will speak to SP Prahlad Sahai Meena on the matter.