Three days after a journalist was allegedly beaten up by police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, the Press Council of India took suo motu cognisance of the incident Friday and set up a fact-finding committee seeking a reply from the state government. The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC), too, issued a notice to UP Police chief in the matter.
The fact-finding committee, comprising of Press Council of India (PCI) members Jaishankar Gupta and Uttam Chandra Sharma, will visit Shamli on Saturday to gather details of the incident. A PCI statement told news agency PTI that the council had taken suo motu cognisance of the alleged attack on the News 24 channel journalist Amit Kumar Sharma.
Expressing concern over the incident, which undermines the freedom of press, PCI sought a reply from the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Uttar Pradesh government and the Senior Superintendent of Police, GRP, Shamli, the statement further said. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday while addressing a press conference had said that he would seek a report of the attack.
The 30-year-old journalist was thrashed by police after an argument occurred between policemen and Sharma near the police station when he had gone to report on the derailment of a goods train. A purported video of the incident which was shot by his fellow journalists, also went viral on social media late Tuesday night where the police personnel can be seen slapping and punching Sharma.
Sharma was released Wednesday morning following protests by several journalists for wrongfully detaining him at the police station. A police complaint was registered against the four personnel, including Station House Officer Rakesh Kumar, on Wednesday under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections pertaining to causing hurt, insult, robbery and wrongful confinement, GRP Superintendent of Police Subhash Chand Dubey said.
(With inputs from PTI)