NEW DELHI: The row over the Delhi Police’s high-handedness on JNU students and photojournalists refused to die down on Saturday, with scribes firm on their demand of an FIR and arrest of the SHO who allegedly molested a female reporter.
On Friday, policemen lathicharged and used water cannons on JNU students who were out on a protest. It was in this melee when the woman reporter was allegedly molested. A protest was held outside the Delhi Police headquarters. In a joint statement, Press Club of India, Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Clubs demanded immediate action against the erring police personnel.
Delhi Police chief spokesperson and special commissioner Dependra Pathak refused to file a case, saying the department had initiated an internal inquiry.
DCP Madhur Verma issued an apology saying an inquiry was initiated to probe the charges. “Our deepest apologies to the media. Our intention was not to obstruct the media from doing its job. In some confusion, some female police personnel mistook the photojournalist as a protester. It was completely by accident,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association president Sonajharia Minz said the teachers strongly condemned the police brutality on students and teachers. “Police brutally attacked the students and teachers with water cannons and lathicharge. In the lathicharge, some teachers and students were badly injured. Even women journalists got hurt during the lathicharge,” she said.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party said it would meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal over the issue. “Police has been instructed by the Centre to act like this. No policeman can resort to such brutality without the Centre’s permission,” AAP leader Aatishi Marlena claimed.
AAP MLA Alka Lamba said the party had been at the receiving end of police brutality. “Their (police) brutality was evident when they arrested AAP MLAs over bogus charges. We will do everything in our power to ensure that action is taken against the concerned officers. Such incidents are a threat to democracy and this must end at the earliest,” she said.