Protest March After Delhi Cops Thrash Photo Journalist Covering JNU Padyatra

While a photojournalist has complained of being roughed up by the police and her camera snatched while covering the JNU protest on Friday, a reporter has alleged that a Station House Officer (SHO) molested her.

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The photo journalist was manhandled by lady police officers and her camera was also snatched

New Delhi:  Journalists today sat outside the Delhi police headquarters to protest against police attacks on two women journalists covering a protest march on Friday by the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

While a photojournalist has complained that she was roughed up by the police and her camera snatched while covering the JNU protest, a reporter has alleged that a Station House Officer (SHO) molested her.

While both the journalists have filed complaints with the police, a First Information Report (FIR) is yet to be registered.

Raising slogans and placing cameras on the ground in protest, journalists demanded that action be taken against the errant cops. They also demanded that the police commissioner come and speak to them.

"We want the SHO suspended, we want FIRs to be registered and strict action to be taken," said Aditi Tandon of the Indian Women Press Corps.

Deepender Pathak, the chief spokesperson of Delhi Police who met the agitating journalists, said a vigilance probe will look into the allegations.

"The report will be out in two to three days. If anyone is found involved, strict action will be taken," said Mr Pathak.

On Friday, police had stopped hundreds of students and teachers of JNU near the INA Market in South Delhi from marching towards Parliament to highlight various points, ranging from opposing privatisation of education to demanding the arrest of a university professor accused of sexually harassing women students.

When the students stopped from entering Lutyens' Delhi refused to turn back, police also used water cannons and baton charge to disperse them. Anushree Fadnavis of the Hindustan Times was one of the journalists covering this march.

On video, a group of policewomen is seen roughing her up. "Please, at least don't break my camera," a woman's voice is heard in the background. According to reports, some other journalists were also manhandled.

"Never thought I would be manhandled by lady Delhi police officers while doing my job. My camera was snatched and I haven't yet received it," Ms Fadnavis later tweeted.

On Saturday, the police apologised for the incident, calling it "unfortunate".

"Our deepest apologies to the media. Our intention wasn't to obstruct the media from doing its job. In the confusion, some female police personnel mistook the photojournalist as a protester, said police spokesperson Madhur Verma.

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