The Press Club of India on October 18 condemned the alleged attack on a journalist of The Caravan by the Delhi Police inside the Model Town police station in North Delhi.
The Caravan said: "Ahan Penkar was attacked while he was reporting in North Delhi. Additional Commissioner of Police Ajay Kumar allegedly kicked and slapped Penkar inside the Model Town police station premises. Penkar sustained injuries to his nose, shoulder, back and ankle."
Penkar had been covering a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in the area. He was attacked and assaulted on October 16 even after he showed his press ID to the cops and told them that he was a journalist.
He was attacked by the Additional Commissioner of Police, Model Town, Ajay Kumar, despite him saying that he was a journalist doing his job.
"The ACP kicked me in the chest. I'm shaken. He threatened to beat us with a steel rod," Penkar said. "They lifted me by my trousers and took me inside the station. I was forced to delete the videos and photos from my phone."
The journalist then staged a protest in connection with the attack on him.
"The Press Club of India condemns senior officials of Delhi's Model Town police station for physically preventing a young reporter of the well-known journal Caravan from performing his duty but also physically thrashing him inside a room in the P.S., where he was taken under compulsion," the Press Club statement read.
"The PCI stands in full support of the journalist and urges the Commissioner of police to do the right thing." The press club said that the commissioner must suspend Kumar, who it referred to as "hubris-filled, irresponsible and unfit to don the police uniform".
The body also demanded an inquiry to be initiated against his junior officer, referred to as "inspector".
"The reporter was forced to go inside the station and thrashed very badly by a brute and the men in his command...The senior police officials deserve to be booked under various sections of IPC for brutally beating a journalist," the Press Club of India said. "In addition, they deserve to be proceeded against for willful negligence."
"The Delhi Police comes under the Union home ministry," the organisation said. "In its eagerness to hush up rape and murder, and with barbarity beating a journalist in order to prevent the facts from being publicised, Delhi Police, in this disturbing incident, would appear to have exceeded the UP [Uttar Pradesh] Police in vileness."
The Press Club of India also apprised the Delhi Commission for Women and the Delhi Human Rights Commission to take proper action.
"If the police show slackness in moving against their officers who take delight in taking the law in their own hands, the Press Club of India urges the Delhi High Court to take suo motu cognisance of this disgraced episode," PCI said.
Nearly, two months ago, three other The Caravan journalists were attacked while reporting in North-East Delhi, on the aftermath of the communal riots in the area.