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'Wanted my Camera, Called Me 'Mulla'': Journalist Beaten Up At Amit Shah's Rally

"I was only doing my job. On one side, Amit Shah was speaking, on the other, they were beating me," Trivedi recalls.

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Video Editor :Nitin Bisht

"Is it easier to beat someone by saying this? I don't understand," asks journalist Raghav Trivedi. "By calling someone 'Mulla' and beating them, you do it knowing that you will get support."

Trivedi, a journalist with digital platform Molitics was brutally beaten, locked and hounded at a public rally held by Union Minister Amit Shah in Raebareli on 12 May. Hours after he was discharged, he went back to covering election rallies again.

He was not only beaten up because of a clip that he had recorded, but crowd stormed in when they mistook him to be a Muslim, Trivedi told The Quint.

"They hit me on my stomach a lot, my back still hurts. It made me think that doing a story on lynching is another thing and facing something like it is different thing." said Trivedi.

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"Some people had told me they were given Rs 100 to come to the rally. Then when I went to verify this claim, 15-20 people came and told me to give them the clip and leave. 'It's a big politicians' rally, don't do this,' they said. Then they beat me at the back. On one side, Amit Shah was giving his speech, while on the other, they were beating me."
Raghav Trivedi, Reporter
"I was only doing my job. On one side, Amit Shah was speaking, on the other, they were beating me," Trivedi recalls.

Raghav Trivedi in Raebareli. Hours after he was discharged from the hospital, he went back to working.

(Photo: Mohammad Shahzeb)

Trivedi had met a few women outside Shah's rally, they told him that they had been assured some amount to attend the BJP leader's public meeting. Questioning the BJP workers on the same, the situation snowballed into crowding, abusing and beating Trivedi.

Called Me 'Mulla' & 'Desh Drohi'

Trivedi said that "80%" of the crowd did not know why they were beating him, in the chaos when some people mistook him to be a Muslim, others joined in and started beating him too.

"They shouted, 'Mulla' and 'Desh Drohi.' Why 'Mulla'? I don't know. I had my identity card around my neck, my name is clearly written on it. I showed it to them too. Because, now I got scared. The way they were beating me and calling me 'Mulla,' others who will come to beat me won't ask who I am.

He added that it was presumptuous of the crowd to think he's a Muslim because of his long hair and beard.

"Fine, for once even if I say I'm a Muslim, then don't Muslims have the right to practice journalism?" questioned Trivedi.

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Meanwhile, his cameraperson Sandeep Sahni told The Quint how the crowd went wild and hit the camera several times.

"In the end, they started saying, "break the camera and delete data from the card." Because all the evidence was in it. Raghav signalled and told me to take the camera and go somewhere on the side. I went to the side..I was there but I had hidden my ID card so they don't recognise me," he recalled.

Trivedi was then approached by a senior party leader who took him to another room where he was locked up and threatened to give them the clip or "ghar le jaake acche se khatiradari karenge," he alleged.

When he came out of the room, he fainted and was then taken to the hospital.

Shrotly after, several political leaders posted about the incident on X (formerly Twitter) while Ex-Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel met him in the hospital too.

"I was only doing my job. On one side, Amit Shah was speaking, on the other, they were beating me," Trivedi recalls.

Congres leader Bhupesh Baghel met him at the hospital.

(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

  • Several leaders, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav also wrote about the incident.

    (Photo: X/The Quint)

Trivedi stated that the mediapersons and the police present at the venue witnessed all that was happening but none of them intervened to help him.

I saw some police so I got some hope, but I requested around 20 policemen, but not one of them came to help me. I was holding their hands tightly so I'm not able to leave them..Secondly, I requested mediapersons also, there was ANI, and Aaj Tak journalists, they didn't intervene too.
Raghav Trivedi, Reporter

BJP Local Leader Says 'Didn't Know'

However, speaking to The Quint, the mediaperson of the local BJP unit in Raebareli, Mukesh Agarwal said, "I didn't know that happened and I only got only got know after the whole incident had taken place. Not in my knowledge."

An FIR has been filed at the Kotwali Nagar police station under IPC sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 323 (causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult).

On the other hand, Trivedi said, "If even one If even one BJP leader had come to meet me, then I would have thought maybe they didn't do it, it was a mistake on others' part. Nobody came to see me so the stand is clear that they don't have any remorse about this."

"Today, I am being beaten up and the ones who are beating don't know why they are beating me. You didn't come to save me, this would happen with you tomorrow, then why would anyone come to rescue you?" Trivedi remarked.

(The Quint has also reached out to the local police. Their response will be added once received).

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  BJP   Amit Shah   Uttar Pradesh 

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