January 31, 2021 2:29:59 am
The Delhi Police Saturday detained a freelance journalist, alleging that he had misbehaved with a station house officer (SHO) at the Singhu border on Saturday night.
Police said Mandeep Punia, who works as a freelancer with The Caravan and Junputh, was moving through roadblocks and barricades when the alleged incident took place.
A purported video of the incident shows a group of policemen with lathis forcibly taking Punia away. Another journalist, Dharmender Singh, was also briefly picked up and later let go after he showed his press ID, police said.
Hours before his detention, Punia had posted a Facebook Live about the Singhu violence on Friday, detailing how men claiming to be locals had pelted stones at the protest site in full view of the police.
“Punia was standing with the protesters and he didn’t have a press ID card. He was trying to move through the barricades which were kept to segregate and secure the area. An altercation broke out between police personnel and him. He misbehaved… there was some manhandling as well. He was then detained,” claimed a senior police officer.
Following Punia’s detention, several farm leaders called for his release. Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav tweeted, “I have known Mandeep to be a passionate and committed journalist. Picking up someone like him, without any legal basis, is another instance of growing threat to free media.”
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