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Husain poll: News channel's office comes under attack
January 19, 2008 17:58 IST
Last Updated: January 19, 2008 18:10 IST
A little-known right wing Hindu outfit on Saturday vandalised NDTV's office in Ahmedabad and assaulted two staffers, venting their anger against an SMS poll of the news channel with noted painter M F Husain [Images] as a contender for Bharat Ratna.
Armed with hockey sticks, about 20 activists of Hindu Samarajya Sena attacked the private channel's office located in a residential area, smashed office furniture, equipment, leaving behind banners and posters of their organisation.
According to NDTV journalists, the group said the channel was "anti-national" and it should apologise for including Husain's name as a nominee in the SMS poll for the country's top civilian honour.
The activists, who were searching for the reporters who had aired the programme, vandalised the office when they did not find them and beat up two office staffers.
Disapproving the attack, BJP president Rajnath Singh said in New Delhi he was confident that Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images] would order a probe into the incident.
"The media is the fourth pillar of democracy. Such things should not happen," he told reporters.
Deploring the attack, the Congress said this reflected a "climate of intolerance" and likened the situation to one of fascism.
"If you cannot air your views with freedom, then it is a very sorry phase you have come to. Ultimately this is what fascism is all about. This is what intolerance is all about," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.