The Delhi Police on Saturday tendered their “deepest apologies” for the alleged harassment of two media personnel yesterday when police resorted to baton charge on protesting students of JNU, IANS reported. The two journalists were allegedly attacked by Delhi Police personnel when they were covering the protests by JNU students yesterday.
“Yesterday’s (Friday’s) incident was a very unfortunate one. Our deepest apologies to the media. Our intention wasn’t to obstruct the media from doing its job,” said DCP and Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma in a statement.
An Indian Express reporter has complained to the Delhi Police that she was molested by an SHO. In her complaint, the reporter said that SHO Vidhyadhar Singh has pushed and placed his hand on reporter’s chest. The reporter also alleged that the inspector misbehaved with her and another reporter even after they identified themselves as journalists.
The Delhi Police addressed the complaint through tweets, “During protest by JNU students, a section of the students became aggressive and tried to push down police barricades. Police had to resort to use of water canon and few protesters had to be removed from the spot. In this situation, one female journalist has given a complaint of molestation and the same will be enquired into by the vigilance branch for further action.”
The Delhi Police, in its statement, said the incident happened due to confusion as some female police personnel mistook the photojournalist as a protestor. It has, however, taken strong cognizance of the matter and ordered an inquiry.
“Delhi Police and I personally have always maintained that the media is an integral part of our democracy. We have always provided access to information and at our end have always tried to ensure media personnel covering the police don’t face any problems while doing their job,” said Verma.
Earlier today, journalists staged a dharna outside Delhi Police Headquarters in protest against alleged molestation of a woman journalist and manhandling of another journalist by police. The journalists got into a heated argument with police outside Delhi Police Head Quarters and they kept their cameras on ground as mark of protest.
A long march of JNU students and teachers from the campus to Parliament Street against compulsory attendance, autonomy and “lack of administrative action” against JNU Professor Atul Johri turned violent yesterday as police resorted to lathi charge and water canons. The students alleged that they were badly beaten by the police. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women has also ordered a probe into alleged manhandling of JNU students and a woman journalist during the protest march.
– With inputs from agencies