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Scuffle between scribes and Imamís men at PMís residence
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 18
A scuffle broke out between supporters of Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari and journalists outside the Race Course Road residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today, as the Imam was leaving without answering questions from reporters.

Angry journalists staged a sit-in at the inner gate of the Prime Ministerís residence and did not allow ministers coming out of a Cabinet meeting to leave the venue.

Trouble began when the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid parried a query on reservation for backward Muslims and the journalists insisted on a reply. An infuriated Imam started walking off, prompting a television reporter to demand an answer.

Tempers rose among the supporters of the Imam, including his brothers Yahya and Tariq, who then allegedly showered abuses, seized microphones from television reporters and threw the microphones back at them.

The Imam had come to meet the PM and submit a set of recommendations finalised at a national conference of Muslim leaders on development of the community.

When the reporters asked Imam not to leave without tendering an apology for the incident, he asked his driver to move the vehicle. Later, the Press Club of India, in a statement, strongly condemned the incident.

It demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter, including the arrest of those who had assaulted the journalists. The attack was an attempt to gag the media and deter it from discharging its professional duties, it said. 

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