The Editors Guild of India has on Wednesday released a statement condemning the alleged attack on a journalist working with The Caravan magazine by a Delhi Police official in North Delhi's Model Town Police Station.
The journalist, Ahan Penkar, was reporting on protests against the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in the area. Meanwhile, the police then detained the protestors as well as the journalist. "Despite displaying his press credentials, Penkar was slapped, kicked and detained by the Police for 4 hours. His phone was seized and his reported material including photographs were deleted," The Editors Guild of India said in their statement.
The Editors Guild of India has demanded "strict action from the Union Home Ministry and Delhi Police Commissioner against police officials involved in this assault so that such incidents do not take place in the future."
"Editors Guild of India is dismayed at the brazen attack by a Delhi Police official on a journalist of The Caravan magazine while he was carrying out his duty as a member of the press," the Guild wrote. "The egregious assault on Caravan’s reporter violates constitutional principles and media’s right to report freely," it added.
Earlier, Penkar had filed a complaint with the Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava. In his "criminal complaint", the journalist alleged voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation.
"Today afternoon, Delhi Police assaulted @thecaravanindia’s staffer Ahan Penkar while he was reporting. ACP Ajay Kumar kicked & slapped Penkar inside the Model Town station premises. Penkar repeatedly told the police that he was a journalist and prominently displayed his press ID," The Caravan had said in a tweet.
"The police forcibly took his phone from him and then deleted all the videos he had recorded while reporting. He was detained for nearly four hours. He has sustained injuries on his nose, his shoulder, his back and his ankle," it added.