STAR News India offices attacked

5:00 AM PST 04/17/2007 by AP

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NEW DELHI -- The Mumbai offices of News Corp.'s Hindi channel STAR News were attacked Monday afternoon by protestors who damaged office property, attacked employees and smashed about 50 cars in the parking lot.

In an interview, STAR News spokesperson Yogesh Manwani said: "The protesters were activists from a group called the Hindu Rashtra Sena (Hindu National Force). They were protesting against a story we ran over the weekend about a minor Hindu girl who eloped with a Muslim boy in the western state of Gujarat."

Manwani said the star-crossed young couple came to Mumbai to the network's offices to tell how they were facing strong opposition from their communities against their marriage. The story was aired over the weekend, which generated media interest.

"The protesters attacked our security guards and some employees and ransacked the office. They left behind posters which state their opposition against the story mentioning STAR News as anti-Hindu," Manwani added.

There were no reports of serious injuries. The network reported the matter to police, who will investigate. STAR News services were not disrupted, and the network repeatedly aired footage of the attack.
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