Reporters have to go through great lengths to get a story, like this journalist, who found herself in the midst of a lathi charge and lived to tell the tale. Even as this scribe was penning down this saga, memories of the incident were fresh as every muscle in her body ached.
Having managed to arrive at Gopalapuram with the procession that accompanied the ambulance that carried the remains of former chief minister M Karunanidhi, who died at Kauvery Hospital in Mylapore on Tuesday, the scribe was squished in the middle of hundreds of cadre – desperate to meet their Thalaivar.
Angered by the public’s desperation to cross the barricades that served to block the road to the DMK chief’s house, police personnel – around 50 of them – raised their lathis and blindly started hitting anyone in sight, irrespective of who it was. Stuck in between other men — mostly drunk — this scribe too was caught in the middle of the lathi charge. Despite repeatedly telling the police persons that she was from the press, the police persons – displayed their inconsiderate side – instructed her to return through the sea of drunk men, to the main road, which would lead her to the house by another route.
Fighting the crowd and the police for about half an hour, the scribe managed to cross the barricades, but was still shaken at the fact that the police, whom everyone looks up to for security, could be so harsh and inconsiderate.
– Anna Sakhi John, Chennai