Amit Sharma, the Uttar Pradesh journalist who was brutally beaten up on a video on Tuesday, has today claimed that he was targeted by Railway personnel for "exposing" their illegal activity.
The journalist alleged that Government Railway Police personnel were involved in a vending business in passenger trains which is prohibited throughout India by the Centre. He covered the story and his organisation flashed this in a messaging group which, according to him, made the government officials angry. He also claimed he was offered a bribe by the GRP personnel, which he refused.
Mr Sharma, a stringer for TV channel News24, was covering the derailment of a train in Shamli district when he was punched, beaten and abused by Government Railway Police personnel.
"They were in plain clothes. One hit my camera and it fell down. When I picked it up, they hit and abused me. I was locked up, stripped and they urinated in my mouth," Amit Sharma said.
Recalling the horror, he added, "I was then taken into the police station, again beaten up and the SHO (GRP) urinated on me. I tried to escape from their grasp but they got hold of me and I was held at gunpoint. I am ashamed to even talk about the treatment meted out to me by the GRP."
The National Human Rights Commission today issued a notice to the DGP of Uttar Pradesh, OP Singh over the reported brutal assault Mr Sharma. The Press Council of India has set up a fact-finding committee and sought a reply from the state government as well.
The incident occurred a day after the Supreme Court ordered the release of journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was jailed for three days by the Uttar Pradesh police for posting "derogatory" content against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
With inputs from PTI, ANI and IANS