DIGIPUB Slams Journo Sakshi Joshi’s ‘Mistreatment’ by Delhi Police
Image Courtesy: Sakshi Joshi Facebook
The DIGIPUB New India Foundation has strongly criticised the “mistreatment” of its member and independent journalist Sakshi Joshi by the Delhi Police.
The incident, which was caught on camera, occurred when Joshi was covering the women wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar against alleged sexual harassment by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and BJP’s Kaiserganj (UP) Lok Sabha member Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday.
आधी रात में पहलवानों पर हमला
मुझे हिरासत में लिया, धक्के मारे , कपड़े फाड़े , कैमरा छीना
— Sakshi Joshi (@sakshijoshii) May 3, 2023
In the video, Joshi says that cops stopped her from reporting, snatched her cell phone and camera, women constables pushed her, tore her clothes and shoved her into a bus.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Foundation—formed by digital media organisations to help ensure the creation of a healthy and robust news ecosystem for the digital age—said, “The Delhi Police must explain under what law they can stop a reporter from reporting.”
Statement on the mistreatment of journalist & DIGIPUB member Sakshi Joshi by the Delhi police. pic.twitter.com/k0sWPLpNFc
— DIGIPUB News India Foundation (@DigipubIndia) May 5, 2023
In a complaint lodged with the Delhi Police commissioner, Joshi stated that despite the law prohibiting a woman’s arrest after sunset and before sunrise, she was made to sit in the bus for 10 minutes before being dropped off at the Mandir Marg Police Station at 2 am.
Joshi was “left on a lonely road and told to go home”.
“Is this not in violation of the law? Such a shameful exhibition of the brute police force and the move to censor a journalist from covering a matter of national concern, that too on World Press Freedom Day, is profoundly disturbing and unacceptable and needs to be swiftly addressed by the Delhi Police,” the Foundation added.
“This must not be treated as par for the course. It is not. In the national interest, journalists must be allowed to report and inform the public on the issues of the day without fear and persecution,” DIGIPUB further added.
It demanded that Union home minister Amit Shah “take cognisance and acknowledge this illegality and that the Delhi Police immediately investigate and take action against the erring police officers”.
In a video she tweeted later on Thursday, Joshi addressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah and said, “Neither I will be afraid nor silent due to fear of the police. Even if the police pull my hair, snatch my phone or tear my clothes, I will ask you everyday why Singh has not been arrested 12 days after the two FIRs were lodged against him?”
— Sakshi Joshi (@sakshijoshii) May 4, 2023
The National Alliance of Journalists and the Delhi Union of Journalists also criticised the incident. In press release, they said, “Citizens have a right to protest at the site designated for the purpose and journalists have every right to cover such protests. Moves to barricade the site and stop such activities are attacks on democracy, free speech and action.”
The Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Press Club of India deplored the manner in which Joshi was treated. In a press release issued on Thursday, they demanded “probe into the matter and urged struct action against the erring police personnel for their treatment of a woman journalist on assignment.”
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