There were words of condemnation after a purported video of the incident went viral on social media. (Photo Credit: Still from the video clip)
Meghalaya Home Minister James K Sangma on Monday confronted a journalist of a leading daily when the latter was waiting in front of his room at the state secretariat in Shillong.
The incident occurred around 5.30 pm when the minister, who is also the spokesperson of the ruling National Peoples Party, came out of his room and accused the journalist of blocking his way.
Accompanied by two of his security personnel, James, who acted in a hurry, walked down the stairs at first, but later climbed back and confronted the journalist.
The journalist, E M Jose, is a news editor at The Shillong Times, a leading English daily in the state. There were words of condemnation after a purported video of the incident went viral on social media.
Eight journalists were waiting to have a word with the minister on issues concerning the state and the departments he holds charge. The journalists had also sent a requisition slip seeking for an official appointment with the home minister, who also holds the charge of power and district council affairs.
When he stormed out of his office, the journalists greeted New Year wishes to the minister, who reciprocated and then tried to walk ahead without responding to further questions.
He accused the journalists of blocking his way and allegedly pushed the journalist. “What the hell are you doing? Why are you blocking my way like that?” the minister shouted.
Jose clarified that he did not block the way, but retorted by asking the minister who he think he is. “Who the hell you think of yourself. Who are you?” the journalist asked.
James, who was five-six stairs down, returned to repeatedly ask: “What is your problem?”
At this time, the minister’s personal assistant stood in between even as security guards were also present at the scene.
Jose said his intention was to ask questions the minister ought to answer for the people and that he was not interested in blocking the minister.