A Sikh journalist Jarnail Singh, a reporter for Dainik Jagran newspaper, stunned mediapersons and officials at a press conference this morning when he threw a shoe at P. Chidambaram, India’s Home minister. The shoe did not hit the minister, who continued to take questions. Jarnail Singh was immediately detained and told mediapersons that he did this as a mark of protest to the clean chit given by the Central Bureau of Investigations to Jagdish Tytler, a Congress leader accused in the anti-Sihk riots of 1984. “I do not think it (what I did) is the right way but the issue (1984 Sikh riots) is right,” he told IANS.
He hurled a shoe at the home minister protesting against CBI’s clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler accused in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, but it missed the target.
Dainik Jagran editor Sanjay Gupta could not be reached for comment. The Editor’s Guild condemned the incident. “When a journalist goes out in the course of work, he is representing his readers and the paper. He has a much higher responsibility than an ordinary citizen. Some basic decorum should be maintained by a reporter. This is condemnable. Any action of a reporter should be in pursuit of the news, not publicity. As a reporter, one should be above caste and community. If you wish to act for any cause, you should become an activist,” said Sachidananda Murthy, secretary general of the Guild.
Throwing a shoe at a person of authority gained prominence as a mark of protest after an Iraqi journalist threw a shoe at the then US President George Bush in December. Several such incidents have been reported from around the world since then. In India, an activist threw a shoe at a Supreme Court judge in March.