Loknath Dalei, a journalist in Odisha’s Balasore district, was allegedly thrashed by the police and chained to a hospital bed by his leg on Thursday, 7 April, after he was arrested for reporting on corruption in the police force of the Nilgiri PS area of the district, reported ANI.
Odisha’s Director General of Police Sunil Kumar Bansal has ordered an inquiry into this matter. Dalei claimed that he was called to the police station where his mobile was confiscated and was thrashed by inspector-in-charge Draupadi Das.
He further alleged that he was beaten until he fell unconscious. Later, he was hospitalised and his leg was cuffed to his bed by a policeman.
The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter. The agency has directed IG Eastern Range in Balasore to submit a report in the matter within 15 days.
Editors Guild Condemns Attack on Journalists
The Editors Guild of India (EGI) issued a statement on Friday, 8 April, condemning the recent cases of police brutality against journalists.
The guild said that it was "shocked and outraged" by the manner in which MP police arrested, stripped, and humiliated local journalist Kanishk Tewari and expressed “grave concern” over the “inhumane manner” of the police in Odisha's Basasore district where the police chained Dalei’s leg to a hospital bed after allegedly assaulting him.
The statement said,
"The inhumane manner in which journalists, stringers, and district reporters are often treated by the police, in an effort to suppress any independent reporting is a matter of corruption by the police and various irregularities in their affairs."
The guild has urged the Home ministry to act immediately and take strict actions.
"The Editors Guild of India urges the Union Home Ministry to take immediate cognisance of police excesses against journalists and civil society members, and issue stern directions to all levels of law enforcement agencies to respect democratic values and freedom of press. At the same time strict action needs to be taken against those who misuse state power," the statement underlined.
(With inputs from ANI.)