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Union ministers, farmer leaders condemn attack on journalist

Union minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday condemned the attack on a journalist during the Farmer’s Parliament — a parallel parliament along with the ongoing monsoon session held by protesting farmers — at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Journalist Nagendra who works with news agency CNNNews18 was attacked while covering the event and suffered minor injuries.

‘The electronic media have a major responsibility of gathering information from all over the nation. If a cameraperson has been thrashed, it should not have happened and I condemn this incident,’ the Union minister for information and broadcasting was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi also condemned the incident and called the protester ‘hooligan’. ‘They are not farmers. They are hooligans. These are criminal acts. What happened on January 26 was also shameful criminal activities and the Opposition promoted those activities,’ Lekhi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. Lekhi further clarified that she did not call protesting farmers ‘hooligans’ and said that such acts ‘can only be committed by hooligans not farmers’

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait took cognisance of the comment and said that farmers provide food and are not ‘hooligans’. He also condemned the incident and said that they do not promote such incidents. ‘It is wrong to use such remarks for farmers. We are farmers, not hooligans. Farmers are ‘annadatas’ of the land,’ Tikait said.

Another farmer leader, Shiv Kumar Kakka, said strict action should be taken against those who attack journalists. ‘I strongly condemn the attack on the journalist. Action should be taken against the person no matter which organisation they belong to — government or the police. We will ensure that action is taken and such incidents are not repeated,’ Kakka said.

Kakka also slammed Lekhi for her comment and said the Union minister insulted 80 crore farmers with her statement. ‘Such a remark is an insult to 80 crore farmers of India.