Sack security agency or face protests: Mumbai Press Club to Tatas

Sack security agency or face protests: Mumbai Press Club to Tatas
Photojournalists assaulted outside Bombay House by security staff

Two days after photojournalists were mercilessly thrashed outside Bombay House, the Mumbai Press Club has asked the Tata Group to dispense with the services of the security agency which supplies guards to the company offices.

Three photojournalists from the Times of India, Mid-Day and the Hindustan Times were assaulted by the guards on Friday following a scuffle when ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry arrived to chair the board meeting of Indian Hotels, which runs the group’s Taj brand of hotels, to approve the second quarter earnings.

The scuffle had started as soon as Mistry, who is the chairman of IHCL, arrived at the Tata Group headquarters to chair the board meeting, and photographers went beyond the cordoned area to click his pictures.

Tata Sons later apologized for the incident, saying “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.”

The apology, however, did little to persuade the Mumbai Press Club who, along with some other organisations, has decided to lead a protest march on Tuesday from the Mumbai Press Club to Bombay House if the Tata Group fails to terminate the agency’s services by noon on Monday.

“Mumbai Press Club along with other organisations including Bombay News Photographers Association, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, TV Journalists Association and BUJ have decided to lead a massive protest march on Tuesday, 8 November, from Mumbai Press Club to Bombay House in case the Tata Sons fails to remove TOPS guards from Tata Group of companies by 12 pm on Monday. More agitations will continue in the coming days if our demand is not met,” the official media release read.

The Mumbai Press Club had earlier condemned the attack and demanded the arrest of the guards involved in the scuffle, following which two security guards were arrested in connection with the attack and sent to judicial custody till November 11.

According to a Tata Group spokesperson, members of the security staff were also injured in the scuffle.

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.

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