If you try to accurately describe the last time a journalist from the mainstream media was abused, heckled and even thrashed, the odds are you going to be terribly wrong about it. If you even tried to predict who attacked the media persons, where the incident took place and who were behind it, you would probably be wrong again. But this time the media has only itself to blame for not supporting a colleague who got thrashed in the Congress-JDS ruled ‘secular’ state of Karnataka. The Editors Guild of India which represents the mainstream media has also looked the other way.
The news didn’t make it to the other news channels because the perpetrators of the violence were members of the illegal meat mafia, the ones involved in slaughtering cattle illegally. The India Today reporter who was sent to cover the incident along with an animal activist Joshine Anthony had been provided with just two unarmed policemen as security at first. The Deputy Superintendent of Police had initially refused to provide police protection to the two citing lack of personnel, but had then consented to providing two unarmed guards. This slaughterhouse located in the heart of Kodipalya village in Karnataka’s Ramnagar district was a place of intense action as more than 200 calves used to get slaughtered here for meat daily.
The raid which took place on Tuesday revealed a ghastly sight to Joshine Anthony and to the India Today reporter. Skulls, bones, intestines lay scattered in puddles of blood all over the place. The place was surprisingly devoid of any living animals, there were simply none available in the illegal slaughterhouse. A police tip-off could have been the only reason as they were the only ones aware of the impending raid. After frantically searching for signs of the animals, the calves were finally found within the premises of the slaughterhouse, hidden beneath small trees and dense bushes. The mouths of the cows were tied to their feet to stop them from running away and making any noise. Such inhumane treatment for new-born calves by the meat mafia was ghastly. A total of 71 calves were found and were rescued by the team, although a lot more must have been removed from the site if there was indeed a tip-off.
It was when the calves were being carried away that the meat mafia lost their cool, and beat up the reporter and Joshine Anthony. The unarmed policemen remained bystanders as the reporter was thrashed, his phone broken and stones pelted at them. The events were thankfully captured on camera and the footage was used to file an FIR against Gazipeer, Khasi, Syed, Mubarakhan, Noor, Imthiaz and Tabrez under Sections 428 and 429 (mischief by killing or maiming animal) of the IPC. However, no FIR has been registered against the seven accused or the mob which had attacked the reporter from India Today along with the activist. Perhaps India Today did not want to cause an uproar in the country against the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka, or it was attempting to uphold the line taken by the mainstream media that Gau Rakshaks are the attackers.
The Editors Guild of India has nothing to say about this. The Editors Guild which represents the mainstream media has gone around shouting from the rooftops that the media is under attack in India. But when one of their own gets thrashed by the meat mafia, they remain mum. These are the hypocrites who have given speeches at the Press Club and taken out marches about how the mainstream media is being intimidated today. But not speaking up about this incident betrays cowardice or deep-seated hypocrisy. The Editors Guild has put one of their own people under the bus by not speaking up. And we are still waiting for the likes of Rajdeep, Sagarika, Barkha, Saba and others to put on their designer accessories and take to the streets of New Delhi to protest against the attack on the India Today journalist.