Six journalists from prominent print and electronic media were allegedly assaulted and manhandled by over a dozen drunken high-profile youth in an overnight pool party held on 7th July, Saturday at the Hotel Royal Retreat, Badi (Hawala Village) an upcountry part of Udaipur.
The glamorous Aqua -2 party hosted by WDNE (We Don’t Need Education) group hosted this event in the presence of some of the most popular DJs of the country including DJ Suketu, DJ NYK, DJ Angel, DJ KAZ and Ifthikar Ali, singer.
Journalists outside Nai Police Station: Photo by Sohail Khan
Kuldeep Singh, Narayan Singh and Vinod Mali, all reporters from a local news channel were physically assaulted and their video cameras were snatched. Vinod Mali was also forcedly locked in a room for several hours and allegedly thrashed by some men.
The scuffle started when another news channel journalist Kamal was taking visuals of a group of drunken guys fighting over some petty issue, suddenly an unknown person poured beer on him which was objected by other reporters present there.
The heated argument turned into a serious brawl and heavily boozing youth started attacking journalists.
An FIR has been lodged with Nai Police Station today morning by the journalists who somehow managed to escape from the wild party.
Additional S.P (Tribal) Kaluram Rawat, ADM (City) Yaseen Khan Pathan and Dinesh Tarwadi, Vice President of the State Schedule Caste Commission came to the Nai Police Station and took information about the incident. The information was also given to I.G, T.C Damor and Ata-ur-Rahman, Deputy Police officer.
According to sources, the rain dance party had nearly 200-300 boys and girls mostly from high profile families of Udaipur and nearby places.
“Everything was going perfectly, the party was fine and we all were enjoying but after 11pm things started getting bad as many people under the influence of heavy liquor started fighting with each other” said one of the partying youth.
As per the reporters who were attacked, people lost control over themselves and started disturbing the event, “we were doing our work without bothering anyone and all journalists who were present there were invited by the party organizers at a recent press conference held pre-event” said Kuldeep Singh.
Kuldeep has received multiple injuries on head, face and chest. The bouncers snatched three video cameras from them.
Narayan Singh, another reporter said that “we were badly thrashed and after escaping from there we went to Nai Police Station at 4 in the morning and also informed T.C. Damor, I.G.”
Dinesh Tarwadi informed the Chief Minister’s office about the incident.
“This is so shameful for the City of Lakes; I don’t understand who gave them permission to throw such a wild late night party with high music,” said Tarwadi.
When UT tried to reach the organizers Saurabh Arya and Dushyant Periwal, their phones were found to be switched off.
Dinesh Tarwadi, Akhtar Khan and Jinendra Shastri at Nai Police Station: Photo Sohail Khan
The news spread like a jungle fire in Udaipur Journalist’s circuit. Akhtar Khan, President and Manu Rao, Vice President of the Lake City Press Club came forward to support the journalists who became assault victims.
“We are not going to tolerate this and will take this matter to the higher level till the assailants are arrested,” said Akhtar Khan.
A meeting of all journalists with police officials and owners of Hotel Royal Retreat was held today evening at the Police Control Room, Delhi Gate.
Hemant Periwal has apologized to all media personnel who were assaulted last night. Periwal has also answered several questions asked by media, police and administration regarding the mishap.
Yaseen Khan Pathan with Kaluram Rawat talking with Rafiq.M Pathan senior journalist Rashtrdoot- photo Sohail Khan
Though Periwal said he had no knowledge of any such incident, but regarding the permission of loud volume music he gave an excuse of the venue being located far from the city. All cameras and equipment were returned back to the reporters.
ADSP Kaluram Rawat, Ata-ur-Rahman Deputy and CI of Nai were also present in the meeting. According to higher officials the report of last night’s incident is being sent to the District Collector, Hemant Gera and investigations will take place.
Also reported by UT Journalists Sohail Khan, Sayeed Ahmed and Divye Walwani