Cops Attack 5 Journos in Delhi, Mumbai During Coronavirus Lockdown
Indian authorities must stop assaulting journalists and allow them to work freely during the lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Tuesday, 24 March.
At least five journalists were attacked in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi, despite the Centre reiterating that print and electronic media are part of the ‘essential services’ that are exempt from restrictions.
‘Pushed Inside a Police Van and Punched’
Deputy News Editor Uttkarsh Chaturvedi was allegedly beaten by the Mumbai Police on Wednesday, 25 March, when he was on a reporting assignment. Four to five policemen kept “hitting until I had to race my bike,” wrote Chaturvedi on Twitter.
Aaj Tak reporter Naveen Kumar was allegedly beaten up by cops at 1:30 pm on 24 March while he was on his way to office, reported Newslaundry.
‘Grabbed By Neck, Pushed Against Car’
Later, around 10:30 pm, The Hindu's Hyderabad bureau chief Ravi Reddy was allegedly attacked by the police. He was on his way back home from work when the incident happened.
Political bureau chief of Telugu-language daily Andhra Jyothy, and reporter Mohammed Hussain of news website Siasat, were also allegedly attacked.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting told state governments to ensure uninterrupted supply of newspapers and television channels, as dissemination of information was crucial during the pandemic.
Aliya Iftikhar, senior Asia researcher for Committee to Protect Journalists, said,
“Indian police must cease harassing and attacking them, and authorities must investigate attacks against journalists and ensure that those responsible are held to account. Journalists are exempted from the ongoing lockdown in India because they provide vital news and information about the coronavirus outbreak.”Aliya Iftikhar
(With inputs from Newslaundry.)