UP: Journalist 'Abused, Locked Up & Urinated Upon' By Railway Police While Covering Derailment Of Goods Train
A TV journalist was thrashed by Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel on June 11 in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh. The GRP personnel attacked the journalist, Amit Sharma, while he was covering the derailment of a goods train near Dhimanpur gate of Shamli city.
Close to a day and a half later, four railway policemen, including Station House Officer have now been booked.
‘Abused, Locked Up & Urinated Upon’
Sharma, who works with the channel News 24, said that GRP Shamli’s SHO Rakesh Upadhyay and constable Sanjay Panwar raised objections over his presence at the derailment site and bashed him up for filming the incident for news coverage. Both the police personnel have been suspended after a video of the journalist being thrashed went viral.
#WATCH Shamli: GRP personnel thrash a journalist who was covering the goods train derailment near Dhimanpura tonight. He says, "They were in plain clothes. One hit my camera&it fell down. When I picked it up they hit&abused me. I was locked up, stripped&they urinated in my mouth" pic.twitter.com/nS4hiyFF1G
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 11, 2019
Sharma also alleged that he was stripped abused, locked up and was urinated upon by the police personnel.
The News 24 journalist, locked up in the GRP station, can be heard narrating the ordeal. He dubbed the attack as a retaliation for a negative story. Accused inspector/SHO Rakesh Kumar sat on chair and kept confronting other journalists protesting against the incident. pic.twitter.com/dVSPrGKog7
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) June 11, 2019
The local police came to know of the incident when dozens of journalists covering the derailment rushed to the police with a video in which the two police personnel in plain clothes were seen continuously slapping and punching the journalist.
UP Police through its official Twitter handle said that the immediate suspension of SHO GRP Shamly Rakesh Kumar and Constable Sanjay Pawar has been ordered.
We have come across a video where a journalist has been beaten up & put up in a lock up. DGP UP OP Singh has ordered for immediate suspension of SHO GRP Shamli Rakesh Kumar & Const. Sanjay Pawar.
Strict punishment shall be accorded to policemen misbehaving with citizens.
— UP POLICE (@Uppolice) June 12, 2019
The journalist also alleged that the GRP personnel were not happy with his news report carried on May 11 in which he reported that illegal vendors were still operating on the trains. They claimed that the police took out their frustration over the story by beating him up.
Several journalists who were on the derailment site for reporting later gathered outside the police station and held a demonstration demanding strict action against the responsible GRP SHO Rakesh Kumar and constable Sanjay Pawar and sought the immediate release of the journalist. Sharma was later released.
Union information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said that he will seek a report of the incident.
Later, the Congress leader Kapil Sibal took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the incident. Sibal slammed the PM by saying that enforcers of the law are its biggest violators.
6 People Arrested For Alleged Defamatory Content Against CM Yogi
Editor of Noida-based Nation Live Anshul Kaushik was arrested on June 11. During a debate on the channel, a woman reportedly made defamatory comments against UP CM Yogi Adityanath.
After Ishika Singh and Anshul Shukla, Kaushik is the third person to be arrested from the channel. As per reports, another editor of the channel remains absconding and the police are in a lookout for him.
The district administration and the police lodged two FIRs and reported the matter to the Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting that the channel did not have requisite license to operate. An FIR under Section 429 (fraud), 467 (forgery of documents) against the channel was filed.
“There is a report in a section of media that it is a case of defamation, but it is not only about defamation. It is about nuisance which has a larger impact on public order, peace and tranquillity, according to the administration. I request media for a deeper and not superficial analysis of the episode and see that if the district administration is trying to prevent such incidents, it is based on merit and is correct,” District Magistrate Brajesh Narain Singh said.
Freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia was arrested by UP Police from his Delhi west residence, for allegedly posting defamatory content against CM Yogi. He was subsequently released after the Supreme Court said that ‘fundamental right to liberty is “sacrosanct” and “non-negotiable”.’
Two other persons have been arrested in Gorakhpur district for allegedly posting comments against CM Yogi on social media.