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‘You Are a Suspect’: Reporter Detained for 2 Hours by UP Police

A reporter from The Hindu newspaper was detained on 20 December in connection with the on-going protests over CAA.

Updated
India
2 min read

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

A journalist and three women social activists were allegedly detained on Friday, 20 December, in connection with the on-going protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act but police officials have denied making any such detention.

Journalist Omar Rashid of The Hindu claimed he was sitting at a restaurant with his friends when the police, in plainclothes, asked him and his friends to identify themselves and subsequently, took them to the police station.

In an article on published on The Hindu website on 20 December, Rashid gave a first- person account on how he was picked up, threatened and then released by cops.

“The same cop who threatened to put me in place, again asked me about the ‘Kashmiris’ and said he would tear out all my beard and thrash me if I didn’t answer his questions as per his liking.”
Omar Rashid
“I told them that I am a journalist, showed them my identity card, and asked why were they taking me with them. They took away my phone and hurled abuses too.”
Omar Rashid
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He said one of his friends, Robin Verma, was also taken into custody at Hazratganj Police Station and he (Verma) was allegedly beaten with a belt by the police.

“The police told me that I had orchestrated the Thursday protest against the CAA in the city and I will be booked for conspiring the episode,” Rashid said.

He said they were later taken to Sultanpuri Police Post and released after the intervention of the UP DGP O P Singh.

“They responded by abusing me and said I should keep my journalism to myself, in abusive Hindi. My Kashmiri background was referred to several times and despite informing them about my newspaper, they continued with their questions and threats.”
Omar Rashid

The scribe said that Circle Officer Hazratganj Abhay Kumar Mishra later came to see him and apologised for the “mistake in identity”.

An official from Hazratganj Police Station denied any such detention.

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Meanwhile, Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey alleged that his wife Arundhati Dhuru and her two social activist friends were also detained briefly at the Hazratganj Police Station. The official also denied this.

Pandey claimed, “They all had gone to see Rihai Manch President Shoib who was taken into custody following the CAA protests. The police told Arundhati, Meera Sanghamitra and Madhvi Kukreja that they were also involved in the Thursday violence and detained them. They were released in the night.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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