Newsday photographer Anil Rampersad suffered an injury to his back, while Express photographer Dave Persad was allegedly slapped in the face and hit with a bottle on the head. Photographers Trevor Hackett (Express) and Rishi Ragoonath (Guardian) escaped unhurt.
Five suspects have been detained in connection with the incident which took place as the photographers were headed back to their respective vehicles parked on the “B” ground, Skinner Park, the designated parking area for the media workers on the night.
Rampersad said they were denied parking inside the venue and were shuttled into Skinner Park. However, after the event a shuttle service was unavailable.
The photographers were attacked at about 3.45 am as they were walking along the Rienzi/Kirton Highway, Cross Crossing, near Skinner Park. A gang of about eight men rained bottles on them when they reacted to their alleged attempts to rob them. Rampersad was struck in the back with a bottle as he tried to run for cover.
Plain clothes police officers on their way out of Skinner Park were alerted to the incident.
Five suspects were held and taken to San Fernando CID where up to late yesterday evening they were still detained.
The injured photographers were forced to seek medical attention at the Princes Town District Health Facility after waiting several hours at the San Fernando General Hospital without being attended to. Rampersad yesterday blamed organisers of the annual chutney event for the unfortunate incident. He explained: “If only the media were shown some more respect with parking arrangements this would not have happened.”
Investigations are continuing.