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Journalist arrested from Singhu for ‘misbehaving’ with policemen

Scribes reach police headquarters, demand Punia’s release

February 01, 2021 12:25 am | Updated 12:25 am IST - NEW DELHI

A freelance journalist was arrested from the Singhu border on Sunday for allegedly misbehaving with policemen and trying to break barricades at the protest site, said officers.

Following the arrest, a group of journalists protested outside Delhi Police headquarters in New Delhi, demanding the immediate release of Mandeep Punia.

A case was registered against him at Alipur police station. He was sent to Tihar prison after being produced before a Magistrate, a senior officer said.

On the day of the incident on Friday, the police had put up barricades at the border. However, some people including the journalist, tried to remove the barricades, the police said. On the same day, there were clashes between farmers and a large group of men, claiming to be locals, who hurled stones at each other.

Meanwhile, the Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Club of India and the Press Association also condemned the brutal police action against Mr. Punia and another scribe Dharmender Singh, who were picked up by police on January 30 evening from the border.

“We demand that Mr. Punia should be freed immediately, and no journalist should be disturbed while carrying out their duties at any place. Such crackdowns impinge on the media’s right to report freely and interferes with our right to freedom of expression, and freedom of the press as guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” the joint statement by group of journalists read.

‘Police use brutal force’

The police used brutal force while picking up Mr. Punia and did not share his whereabouts to other media colleague entire night, the journalists alleged.

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