Jodhpur/Jaipur, Nov 13: Supporters of sacked Rajasthan minister Mahipal Maderna today attacked media-persons outside a hospital in Jodhpur where he was admitted complaining of chest pain even as CBI prepared to question him again in the Bhanwari disappearance case.
Some reporters were trying to talk to Maderna's daughter Divya on the Bhanwari issue outside the Mathura Das Mathura hospital in Jodhpur where he is admitted, when about 20-25 of his supporters targeted them.
Police said two persons received minor injuries while an OB van of a news channel was damaged. The injured were Devankur of Headlines Today and a driver of the OB van of Star News.
Few supporters of Maderna also ransacked an under-construction office of a vernacular news channel ETV. They tried to break open the doors and pelted stones at the building, police said.
Maderna, who was grilled by the CBI for two consecutive days, skipped questioning in connection with the case yesterday complaining of high blood pressure and chest pain. Joint Director of CBI RP Agrawal, who reviewed the progress in the case in Jodhpur today, said Maderna will be called for questioning tomorrow.
Congress last night suspended Maderna from the primary membership of party.
Action against Maderna was on the cards after a CD purportedly showing him in a compromising position with Bhanwari, an auxillary nurse, came into public domain.
The controversy involving Maderna has hit the Ashok Gehlot government amid calls by opposition BJP for the Chief Minister's resignation.
Hitting out at the media, Maderna's wife Leela said, “Media and TV have fully destroyed us. You write whatever you want. This TV and media should be closed down.” Leela too has been quizzed by the CBI in connection with the case of Bhanwari, a nurse at the sub-centre in Jaliwada village who went missing on September 1. Maderna was sacked from the state cabinet on October 16 after his name cropped up in the case.
Cases have been registered against unidentified people in connection with today's incidents. Additional police personnel have been deployed in the area and efforts are being made to identify the culprits, police said.
The BJP, Samajwadi Party, JD(U), CPi and Shiv Sena condemned the attack on the mediapersons. Speaking in Kanpur, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav demanded stern action against the culprits.
The Pink City Press club condemned the attack and will submit a memorandum to the Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal and DGP Harish Meena.
In Jaipur, around 200 media persons handed over a memorandum to Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal demanding stern action against the culprits and compensation for the damage, and staged a symbolic ‘Dharna' outside his house.
Leader of Opposition Vasundhara Raje condemned the assault and demanded an impartial inquiry.
“The government could not protect the fourth pillar of democracy, the media, then what a common man can expect from the government?” she said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asked police officers to take appropriate action against those involved in the attack on mediapersons in Jodhpur. Gehlot, in the wake of the attack, called a high-level meeting at his official residence here and reviewed law and order situation.
The CM also discussed situation in Bharatpur district's Gopalgarh town, where 10 people were killed in clashes in September, official sources said.
The officers were asked to provide full cooperation to CBI which is probing Bhanwari Devi missing case, Dara Singh fake encounter case and Surwal violence.
State Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal after the meeting assured media persons of proper action against the culprits who attacked the reporter and driver of a news channel.