Journalist Detained, ‘Abused’ by UP Cops Amid Anti-CAA Protest, Released With Apology for ‘Confusion’
Journalist Omar Rashid, who works for ‘The Hindu’, said the police snatched his phone and verbally abused him, accusing him of orchestrating Thursday’s protest against the new citizenship law.
A policeman aims his gun at protesters during a rally against NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act in old Lucknow on December 19, 2019. (PTI Photo)
Lucknow: A journalist was allegedly detained here on Friday in connection with the ongoing protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but police officials denied making any such detention.
Journalist Omar Rashid of The Hindu said he was sitting in a restaurant with his friends when police in plain clothes picked him up labelling him a "rioter".
"I told them that I am a journalist, showed them my identity card, and asked why they were taking me with them. They took away my phone and hurled abuses too," news agency PTI quoted Rashid as saying.
He said one of his friends, Robin Verma, was also taken into custody at the Hazratganj police station and was allegedly beaten with a belt by police.
"The police told me that I had orchestrated the Thursday protest against the CAA in the city and I will be booked for conspiring the episode," Rashid said.
He said later that they were taken to Sultanpuri police post and released after the intervention of the UP DGP OP Singh.
The scribe said that Circle Officer Hazratganj Abhay Kumar Mishra later came to see him and apologised for the "mistake in identity".
“The same cops who abused and intimidated me earlier now apologised to me and tried to explain that I was picked up due to a “confusion.” This was despite the fact that I had identified myself as a journalist from the very first moment. The police then let me off,” Rashid wrote in a first-person account for The Hindu.
An official from Hazratganj police station denied any such detention, PTI said in report, adding that the news agency tried to contact Misra for his comments but he could not be reached immediately.
3 Social Activists Also Detained
Meanwhile, Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey alleged that his wife Arundhati Dhuru, a social activist, and her two friends were also detained briefly at the Hazratganj police station.
The official also denied this.
Pandey said, "They all had gone to see Rihai Manch president Shoib who was taken into custody following the CAA protests. The police told Arundhati, Meera Sanghamitra and Madhvi Kukreja that they were also involved in the Thursday violence and detained them. They were released in the night."
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