A television journalist was stripped and beaten up by the state police in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli on Tuesday. In videos of the incident doing the rounds on social media, the journalist can be seen being slapped and thrashed even as he tries to reason with them. Amit Sharma, a reporter with channel News 24 was covering the derailment of a goods train near Dhimanpura when the incident took place.
Sharma alleged that he was later tortured by the police. “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,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
#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
In one of the videos, Sharma was seen behind bars in the police station and narrating his ordeal to his colleagues. “10 to 15 days ago, I had done a story on them. The mobile phone that they snatched from me had the footage of the story,” he said after he was released. Sharma said his ordeal began sometime back when he blew the cover of an alleged trade racket with the involvement of GRP personnel in the trains. The journalist said that he has been at the target of the GRP personnel ever since he reported the story.
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 Uttar Pradesh police took note of the video and said that they had suspended SHO Rakesh Kumar and constable Sunil Kumar in view of the incident. “We have come across a video where a journalist has been beaten up and put up in a lock up. DGP UP OP Singh has ordered for immediate suspension of SHO GRP Shamli Rakesh Kumar and Const. Sanjay Pawar. Strict punishment shall be accorded to policemen misbehaving with citizens,” they posted on Twitter.
The incident comes a day after the Supreme Court ordered the release of journalist Prashant Kanojia who had been arrested for making ‘objectionable comments’ against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.