Four Railway Policemen Booked For Thrashing Journalist in UP

Four railway policemen, including a station house officer, were booked for allegedly beating up a journalist in Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district, an official said Thursday, 13 June.

In the latest incident of police action against journalists in Uttar Pradesh, a local reporter covering the derailment of a goods train in the state's Shamli district was thrashed by a unit of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Tuesday, 11 June.

The police registered a case under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) pertaining to causing hurt, insult, robbery and wrongful confinement, GRP Superintendent of Police Subhash Chand Dubey said.

A video of the incident shows the GRP personnel, dressed in plain clothes, beat up the journalist – identified as Amit Sharma of Hindi news channel News 24 – who was reportedly covering a goods train derailment near Dhimpaura.

Also Read: Another Journalist Arrested for ‘Defamatory Content’ Against Yogi

Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a review meeting on the law and order situation in the state on Wednesday.

Regarding the incident, the journalist, Amit Sharma, was quoted by ANI as saying:

"“They were in plain clothes. One hit my camera and it fell down. When I picked it up they hit and abused me. I was locked up, stripped and they urinated in my mouth.”"

The police officers seen in the video – Station House Officer (SHO) Rakesh Kumar and constable Sanjay Pawar – were suspended following the incident.

Why Was Sharma Beaten Up?

Speaking to The Quint, Sharma alleged that he was thrashed over an earlier story he had covered which exposed corruption in the GRP forces.

"“On 11 May, we ran a story on how the GRP police was taking hafta from the unauthorised vendors on the Delhi-Saharanpur train in return for allowing them to operate on the route, despite it being illegal. They were getting close to Rs 1.5 lakh per month from this exercise.”"

He added that his channel News24 would run the story again on 12 June as well, in the aftermath of the action taken against him.

‘Cops Abused Me in Lock-Up’: Journo

Later, speaking to local channels from within the GRP station premises, where he was locked up, Sharma alleged that the personnel seized his mobile phone which contained all of coverage on the Railways.

He further alleged that he was beaten up over the course of his coverage of the derailment.

"A lot of police personnel were present, one or two were dressed in civil clothes. They beat me up all the way from where the accident occurred to the station, which is located almost 200 metres away from the spot. They also abused me and locked me up," he said.

Sharma, who was bailed out by two fellow journalists on 12 June, also told The Quint that a protest was being staged outside the police station by media personnel that adequate action and inquiry be taken against the police personnel.

Also Read: Journo’s Son Found Dead in Bihar’s Nalanda with Eyes Gouged Out

The derailment of the goods train reportedly occured after two coaches of the train slid off the track near Dhimpaur. According to reports, the derailment has affected train traffic on the Shamli-Saharanpur line.

‘Everything Possible in UP’: Several Condemn Attack on Twitter

Several people, including journalists, have taken to Twitter to condemn the Shamli incident.

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