Gujarat riots convict held for attacking journalist

Ahmedabad, Jan 21 (IANS) Suresh Richard, a convict in the 2002 Gujarat riots, was arrested here on Thursday for allegedly assaulting a woman journalist when she went to interview him.

Revati Laul, a former NDTV journalist based in New Delhi, was in Ahmedabad to work on a book on the Naroda Patiya killings that left over 90 people dead in 2002.

She called on Suresh Richard aka Suresh Chhara at his house on Wednesday evening.

She alleged that she was punched and slapped by Chhara when she asked him some questions about his involvement in the riots.

Laul claimed that he first came half-naked. When she urged him to dress properly, he roughed her up and assaulted her. She managed to escape after Chhara’s son and neighbours intervened.

“Without any provocation he started slapping me. He kept on punching me and banged my head on the wall. I somehow managed to flee from the spot,” she told journalists.

Laul received first aid at a government hospital before lodging a complaint with police.

Chhara was released on parole by a court last week, reportedly to trace his teenage daughter who has been missing for some months.

Richard’s former wife had alleged last month that he tried to rape her when he was released on parole a few months ago following which his parole was cancelled.

Chhara was convicted for 31 years for his involvement in the Naroda Patiya case.

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