Journalist hurls shoe at P Chidambaram


A journalist threw a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference on Tuesday, protesting against the minister's reply on his question on CBI's clean chit to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 Sikh riots case.

The shoe did not hit the minister and the journalist, a senior reporter with Dainik Jagran, was taken into custody.

The press conference was being held at the Congress headquarters where Chidambaram was presenting his party's report card on terrorism. The journalist asked the minister whether letting Tytler off the hook ahead of the elections was not politically motivated.

To which Chidambaram replied that CBI had only presented a report to the court and it was up to the court to either accept or reject it. The journalist wanted to ask another question but Chidambaram said he did not want to get into an argument and refused to take further questions.

The journalist then threw his shoe at the minister, saying 'I protest'.

It is the first of its kind incident in India but throwing shoes at political leaders has become a high-profile form of protest. The trend was started by an Iraqi journalist who had thrown shoes at former US President George Bush at a press conference in Baghdad last year.

Thereafter, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was meted a similar treatment while delivering a speech at Cambridge University. The Israeli ambassador to Sweden was also hit by a shoe when he was addressing an audience in Stockholm University.

Jarnail Singh released

Journalist Jarnail Singh who hurled a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram at a press conference was released by police after brief detention.

Station House Officer of Tughlaq Road Police station Anil Kumar Yadav told reporters that the scribe has been freed for the time being.

"No case has been registered against him. He has regretted about his action," the official said, adding that the journalist was questioned for his action and then he was released.

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