The incident happened on Sunday night at Sitaramdera police station in steel city Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum district where journalists had gone to report on the detention of a BJP-supported builder.
“TV journalists were shooting the incident and print media photographers were taking photographs. The policemen objected to the media coverage,” Manoj Singh, a reporter of a local TV channel and who sustained head injuries, told IANS.
“All of sudden, they started beating journalists. We were just doing our professional work,” he added.
The reporters were drawn to the police station by a fracas over the detention on Sunday of a builder which Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers opposed.
Several BJP workers as well as Jharkhand Food and Supplies Minister Saryu Rai reached the police station and demanded to know why the builder had been detained.
The builder had actually lodged a complaint against some people demanding money from him, they said.
Instead of proceeding against the extortionists, the police detained the complainant, said the BJP workers.
The fracas made for a ‘good story’ for the media personnel, but the police got hassled enough to charge at them.
Several media persons were then roughed up by the police, causing an outrage among them.
Senior police officials were then called in to control the situation.
On the demand of the journalists, one head constable and three other policemen were suspended. The media persons, however, continue to demand suspension of the officer in charge of the police station.
The Jharkhand Journalist Association has condemned the incident and demanded action against the police officials involved.