Farmers' protest: Delhi court to pass order on journalist's bail plea on Tue

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) A Delhi court will pass order on Tuesday on the bail application of freelance journalist Mandeep Punia who was arrested by Delhi Police from the Singhu border protest site where farmers are agitating against the three agri laws passed by the Centre.

Punia was arrested by police on Sunday in an FIR registered under various sections including 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of IPC.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba reserved the order for Tuesday after hearing the arguments of the accused as well the public prosecutor.

Advocate Akram Khan, appearing for Punia, told the court that the accused was merely carrying out his journalistic duties.

Khan said that another journalist was detained along with Punia but he was released around midnight. The reason police gave different treatment to the accused was because he was not carrying a press card, the counsel said.

“Accused is a freelance journalist and not carrying a press card can be no grounds for a case or arrest. The accused is a well respected member of the society being a journalist including being a frequent contributor to the Caravan magazine,” he said.

Delhi Police sought dismissal of bail application, saying he may again indulge in instigating the protestors and create nuisance at the protest site. The agency said the accused tried to break the barricades and scuffled with police personnel deputed on highly sensitive law and order arrangement.

It said that during the investigation, Punia neither cooperated nor did he disclose any name of his associates.

Punia was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Sunday. PTI UK SA