May 19, 2021 3:42:47 am
Two FIRs have been filed in connection with a video that went viral showing a group of people beating up a journalist allegedly at the behest of the local BJP MLA and the sub-divisional magistrate in Uttar Pradesh’s Sidharth Nagar district. The complaints were registered at Dumariaganj police station.
Ameen Farooqui, who said he is a reporter for a local Hindi news channel, claimed that he was beaten on the directions of the SDM and the MLA as he had been reporting on the alleged discrepancies of the former during the ongoing Covid curfew, police said the incident was the result of an altercation between two groups of journalists. While the first FIR was filed against 10 identified persons, including the driver of BJP MLA Raghvendra Pratap Singh, the second named the journalist.
“At a time when a Covid curfew is in force and all shops are closed, a new restaurant was allowed to open and do business. The reporter (Ameen) got us pictures and we ran the story. It was also posted on a local WhatsApp group, to which the SDM commented that some selfish journalists were behind such reports…. On Sunday, I asked him to send a report from the Community Health Centre (CHC),” Rashid, Ameen’s immediate boss at the channel, said.
The reporter claimed while he was on his way back after covering the health minister’s visit, the SDM stopped Farhan, a colleague, and made some uncomplimentary remarks about their journalism. “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 said, adding that he was taken to a police station and detained for close to eight hours.
The police, however, denied the allegations, the MLA and the SDM had nothing to do with the affray and it was the result of an argument between two groups of journalists. The Sidharth Nagar SP said Ameen made some remarks about the SDM and some fellow journalists objected to the same, resulting in a scuffle.
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