A journalist, yet again, was subjected to disrespect and gut-wrenching violence at the hands of police.
Emmy C Lawbei, a Mizo journalist with News18, was out on Saturday, 10 March, to cover a students’ protest on the Assam-Mizoram border, when she got brutally thrashed by the Assam police, reported News18.
Lawbei took to Facebook to describe and condemn the police act.
I was travelling from Aizawl at 6 am along with other reporters. All the journalists were ahead of the students. There was some verbal exchange followed by lathicharge. Police started chasing us, beating everyone on the way.
Lawbei sustained serious injuries on her shoulder and back, and was immediately rushed to Bairabi Hospital for primary care.
Emmy sustained injuries despite telling the police that she was a journalist
(Photo Courtesy: Emmy C Lawbei/Facebook)
Speaking to The Quint, she says: "I am very furious at the moment."
Lawbei says that she was beginning to find solace in the fact that her ordeal was at least opening up a dialogue about safety of journalists, however, she was shocked to find out that the police is still trying to deny what happened.
A reporter friend of mine was told by the DM of Hailakandi that no journalist was attacked. They are still lying.
She pointed out that the scene – a mere protest sight – felt "like a war zone." Lawbei says that she kept telling the police over and over that she was a journalist, but they paid no heed to that.
She said that other journalists present at the site were subjected to the same brutality.
We were unarmed. All I had was my equipment bag.
Lawbei also shared with The Quint that over 50 students got injured, and some bullets were also fired.
I strongly condemn the Assam Police for this kind of violence. We kept telling them that we were journalists, but that had no impact on them either.
Inspite of the video footage that’s doing the rounds, the Deputy Commissioner of Assam’s Hailakandi District, Adil Khan has denied the charges of police assault on the journalists.
Video Editor: Tridip K Mandal