Police registers assault case against security staff for beating journalists outside Bombay House

Police registers assault case against security staff for beating journalists outside Bombay House
Photo journalists being assaulted by Bombay House’s security staff. Picture Courtesy: Hasan Shaikh

Mumbai police has registered an assault case against six security staffers who had assaulted journalists stationed outside the Tata Group headquarters in Fort earlier today.

MRA Marg police station has booked the six accused under sections 141, 143, 147, 149, 323, 325 and 427 of the Indian Penal Code.

A section of the media has also called for the suspension or cancellation of security agency’s license.

Earlier in the day, media persons had assembled outside Bombay House to report on the outcome of the board meeting of Indian Hotels, a Tata Group company where Cyrus Mistry is still chairman.

It was his first board meeting after his ouster from the company last month.

As soon as Mistry arrived at the headquarters, to chair a board meeting to consider quarterly financial performance of the company, photographers went beyond the cordoned off area to click pictures.

In a bid to control the situation, the security personnel roughed up the photographers, injuring those from media outlets like Hindustan Times, Mid-Day and Mumbai Mirror.

A photographer was even ganged up on, and repeatedly punched and slapped by guards at the building’s entrance. The incident was also captured on video.

Those injured were identified as Arijit Sen, Atul Kamble and Suryakant Niwate. The cameras of at least two lens men were completely broken in the scuffle.

The situation was later brought under control with the help of officials from Mata Ramabai Police. Four security guards and three photographers have been taken for medical check up.

Following the incident, a Tata Sons spokesperson apologised for the incident. “In the rush during the entry of certain directors, one of our security staff members fell down. The security staff then lost their cool, which they shouldn’t have. We apologise for the incident,” he said.

Later, Tata Sons also formally apologized for the incident. “We deeply regret the incident during the entry of certain board directors today. We profusely apologize to the press corp and their families for this incident. We will ensure that such a situation does not recur.”

Tata Sons has been in garnering a lot of media attention in recent weeks ever since the board decided to remove Cyrus Mistry as chairman.

The sudden announcement about the decision to replace the chairman of one of India’s biggest and most prolific companies after a short span of four years took the entire business world by surprise.

Since the decision was made public on October 24, the company’s previous chairman, Ratan Tata, has stepped in as interim chairman.

Meanwhile Mistry continues to remain the chairman of some group companies like TCS, Tata Steel and Tata Motors, a position he plans on retaining going forward.

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