Bhubaneswar: The Commissionerate Police on Sunday arrested the marketing manager of Esplanade One, Shyama Jha, in connection with the alleged assault on a woman scribe and her lensman at the shopping mall the previous evening
She has been forwarded to court.
The police action followed massive protests by journalists in front of the shopping mall, condemning the attack and demanding arrest of the top officials.
Police had earlier arrested two security guards in connection with the incident, which took place when journalist of a local web channel Swati Jena and her cameraman, Pramod Mohapatra, were covering a story on illegal parking fee collection at the mall despite restrictions imposed by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) to prevent such acts.
While they were recording the activity, the security personnel allegedly abused them and forcibly shut down the camera saying they were not allowed to live telecast the mall activities.
“Some staff of the shopping mall abused and attacked me and my cameraperson when we had gone there to cover a story regarding illegal collection of parking fees,” the journalist was quoted by media as saying. Moreover, they were locked in a room for over 20 minutes and later rescued by colleagues.
The journalist had also lodged a complaint at Shaheed Nagar police station, on the basis of which, the police have registered a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (criminal force to woman) and 34 (criminal act by several persons with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The BDA in October this year had issued a notification in this regard, stating that these establishments must provide mandatory off-street parking as their parking areas are exempted from Floor Area Ratio calculation.
Violating the provisions, shopping complexes in the city had allegedly resumed levying the parking charges after a gap of two months.
According to sources, Esplanade One has been charging Rs 10 from two-wheelers and Rs 20 from four-wheelers for the past few days on the pretext of an interim order issued by the Orissa High Court.
A BDA official had earlier told TNIE that the court had directed them not to take any coercive action against the mall over collection of parking fee.