Journalist ‘Thrashed’ at Behest of BJP MLA, SDM; Counter FIR Filed
In Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharth Nagar district, Farooqui had been reporting on discrepancies during the COVID curfew.
Video Editor: Mohd. Irshad Alam
On 16 May 2021, a video of journalist Ameen Farooqui being thrashed by a group of men, surfaced on the internet. After the video that showed him being slapped, punched, and verbally abused went viral, Farooqui claimed that he was beaten at the behest of local BJP MLA Raghvendra Pratap Singh and SDM Tribhuvan Prasad.
In connection with the video, two FIRs have been filed at the Domariyaganj police station against 10 people including the driver of the BJP MLA, The Indian Express reported. Adding insult to his injury, the second FIR was filed against Farooqui.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharth Nagar district, Farooqui had been reporting on discrepancies during the COVID curfew in the state. Farooqui provided pictures of a new restaurant that was allegedly allowed to open and do business while other shops in the area remained closed. Reportedly, the photos were also shared on a WhatsApp group, upsetting the SDM.
What Unfolded on 16 May
On 16 May, Farooqui was reportedly covering the inauguration of a COVID unit in Domariyaganj’s community health centre, in the presence of Jai Pratap Singh, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister. When returning from the event, Farooqui’s colleague Farhan was allegedly stopped and abused by the SDM, while Farooqui tried to pacify the situation.
“As I intervened and requested the SDM not to use such words, the MLA joined in. Sensing trouble, I tried to end the argument and leave. However, someone with the SDM or MLA asked the others to catch hold of me and beat me up… Farhan managed to shoot a video of the entire incident.”Ameen Farooqui told The Indian Express
The confrontation reportedly escalated to a brawl, and Farooqui was allegedly beaten-up at the direction of the MLA and SDM. He was reportedly also taken to the police station and detained for eight hours.
Bharat Samachar’s Claim vs Cops’ Counter
Flagging the situation of ‘lawlessness’ in Siddharth Nagar, Bharat Samachar’s editor-in-chief, Brajesh Misra immediately called out the attack on his reporter. Farooqui’s boss, Rashid, too, corroborated his ‘detention’ alleging the role of SDM Tribhuvan Prasad.
The police, however, have denied the allegations and involvement of the MLA and SDM. In a video statement issued on the same day, the Siddharth Nagar SP, Ashok Kumar said that Farooqui had passed lewd remarks about the SDM. Some other journalists had then objected to the remarks, resulting in a scuffle among them.
“Two reporters, Ameen Farooqui and Farhan made some remarks on the local SDM, once the Health Minister had left after inauguration, in the presence of the MLA. Fellow journalists present at the spot objected to the comments and confrontation followed, which escalated to a brawl.”Ashok Kumar, SP Siddharth Nagar
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