Journalists Write To Rajnath Singh For FIR Over Assault On Colleagues

The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Club of India, Press Association and the Federation of Press Clubs in India drew the attention of the home minister to the incident on March 22, when journalists covering a protest by the students and teachers of JNU were assaulted by the police.

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Journalists Write To Rajnath Singh For FIR Over Assault On Colleagues

The journalists wrote a letter to Rajnath Singh regarding assault on reporters at a JNU protest.


New Delhi:  Journalist bodies in the national capital on Monday wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh demanding the lodging of an FIR in the case of assault and molestation of journalists while covering a protest in New Delhi.

The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Club of India, Press Association and the Federation of Press Clubs in India drew the attention of the home minister to the incident on March 22, when journalists covering a protest by the students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU were assaulted by the police.

Two women journalists were roughed up, one of whom was intimidated and threatened by women police members while the other was molested by Station House Officer Vidyadhar Singh. A third male journalist has his arm in a sling after being beaten up by policemen.

"As you are aware, there was a teachers and students' protest that day at Parliament. Like always, reporters and their camera persons were on the spot covering the event as part of their journalistic responsibilities," the letter said.

"While the journalists were doing their job, members of the Delhi Police targeted media equipment and the journalists, thereby preventing them from doing their work. One woman journalist was pushed around and her camera equipment taken away forcibly as she wanted to take pictures of a student being kicked by members of the Delhi Police." 

"Another reporter was similarly threatened and molested by a Station House Officer. She has named and identified the officer and filed a complaint. A third reporter sustained serious injuries on his arm while being manhandled by the police," the letter read.

The associations demanded that an FIR be registered on the basis of complaints made by the individuals and appropriate and time-bound action be taken against the police persons and officers involved in the targeted assault and molestation.

"We also demand accountability from senior officers on whose directives the journalists were targeted. The SHO, accused of the grave charge of molestation should be suspended forthwith, pending inquiry for a fair and impartial investigation to take place," the letter said.

"We hope you will take up our representation and deal with each instance of assault and molestation with the seriousness they deserve."

On Friday, the JNU teachers and students held a protest march demanding suspension of professor Atul Johri, accused of sexual harassment, and protested against the removal of some department heads and a coordinator for not complying with the university's new attendance rules.

As hundreds of protesting students and teachers from the university marched towards Parliament, the police baton-charged them and fired water canons on the agitators near INA Market in south Delhi.

The Delhi Police on Saturday tendered their "deepest apologies" for the attack on media personnel when police started the baton charge, with police commissioner Amulya Patnaik saying the police's intention was not to obstruct the media from doing its job.
 


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