‘Heckled, Called Jihadists by Rightwingers’: Journos Covering JNU

Several journalists were manhandled and abused while reporting on the violence.

Published05 Jan 2020, 08:07 PM IST
2 min read

Amid attacks on the students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by an unidentified mob within the campus on Sunday, 5 January, several journalists were manhandled and abused while reporting on the violence.

A reporter from India Today Ashutosh Mishra said he was attacked by a mob and labelled a “Jihadist” and “Naxali” when he tried to question the law and order during a live show for his channel.

He also alleged that as the mob attacked him and his cameraperson and broke his mike, the police did nothing.

Associate editor of Scroll.in Rohan Venkat had a similar experience. While recording a video near the university gate, he was allegedly surrounded by “rightwingers” who called him a ‘naxalwadi’ and demanded his phone and heckled him.

“Tried to take video of what was happening a little away from the gate, where more right wingers have gathered. Got surrounded by folks calling me a naxalwadi, demanded my phone because I had my phone up and started shoving around. One knock to the head,” he tweeted.

Violence broke out at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Sunday as masked men armed with sticks attacked students and teachers and damaged property on the campus, prompting the administration to call in police which conducted a flag march.

At least 18 people, including JNU Students' Union president Aishe Ghosh, were injured and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as chaos reigned on the campus for nearly two hours.

The Home and HRD ministries sought reports from Delhi Police and JNU administration, respectively. Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the Delhi Police chief and enquired about the situation at JNU.

Sources said the violence started at around 5 pm.

The JNU administration said "masked miscreants armed with sticks were roaming around, damaging property and attacking people" and that police had been called in to maintain law and order.

The students alleged that the attackers entered hostels and assaulted students and teachers. Video footage aired by some TV channels showed a group of men, who were brandishing hockey sticks, moving around a building.

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