Five journalists, three of them from two private Assamese news channels and two of them photojournalists of Assamese dailies, were allegedly assaulted and caned by the police at Dispur police station here on Friday night when they had gone to enquire about a clash between two groups of youth at Japorigog area.
The journalists said they wanted to know from the police as to why the police had let two of the five youths involved in the clash and detained the other three at the police station. The journalists alleged in their First Information Report (FIR) that without provocation they had been heckled and pushed out of the police station, chased and caned by Sub-Inspector Arun Barua even when they fell down on road.
The incident has sparked off widespread protest across the State with the journalists’ bodies, political parties, students and youth bodies condemning the “police brutalities” on journalists and demanding stern action against “guilty police official.”
The three TV journalists were David Buragohain, Siddhartha Bhattacharyya and Sazadul Rana and photojournalists— Jitu Gogoi and Surajit Sarma.
“It was around 1 p.m. in the night when we had gone to Dispur police station to gather information about a clash between two groups and wanted information on the incident as we had heard that although five had been picked up two had been let go by police because of their close connection with the ruling party. We wanted to ascertain the facts. However, the policeman on duty refused to cooperate which led to some arguments. However, suddenly a Sub-Inspector of Police rushed into the police station and without provocation assaulted Mr. David Buragohain inside the police station and heckled us and pushed of the police station. Then some other policemen on duty came chasing us and beat us brutally. They did not stop beating even when Mr. Jitu Gogoi fell down on the road,” Mr. Surajit Sarma told The Hindu.
The SI Arun Barua lodged a counter FIR against the journalists, alleging that they had obstructed the policemen from discharging their responsibilities.