Delhi Police ACP thrashes journalist inside police station!

Caravan magazine staffer, has alleged that he was kicked and slapped by ACP Ajay Kumar Penkar inside the Model Town station premises


The last time local goons attacked  journalists of the Caravan Magazine, the Delhi Police came under the scanner for their delay in lodging an FIR. Instead of taking action against the perpetrators, police had sent a rejoinder to those attacked, including a woman journalist who had complained of sexual harassment by goons. Now, the police have gone a step further!

On Friday, October 16 afternoon, another Caravan journalist alleged that he was brutally assaulted by a senior officer of the Delhi Police. He was on a reporting assignment when he was attacked, despite telling the cops he was a journalist and showing them his Press identity card.

Ahan Penkar, the Caravan staffer, has alleged that he was kicked and slapped by Delhi Police ACP Ajay Kumar Penkar inside the Model Town station premises, in North Delhi. Penkar stated that he repeatedly told the police that he was a journalist and prominently displayed his press ID. However, he alleged that the police forcibly took his phone from him and then deleted all the videos he had recorded during his reporting assignment. Penkar said he was detained for nearly four hours and shared a photo of his bruises. He said he was injured on his nose, shoulder, back and ankle when he was kicked, beaten and abused. He put this on record in his written complaint to the police before he went to get a medical check up and register a medico-legal case (MLC) .

According to information put out by Caravan magazine, Penkar was reporting on “a protest concerning the alleged rape and murder of a teenaged girl in North Delhi. Students and activists had gathered outside the Model Town police station to demand the registration of an FIR in the case.”







Political Editor Hartosh Singh Bal tweeted that “the reporter wasn’t the only person to be beaten up by Ajay Kumar at the site.” Two other persons were also attacked, while a constable and two inspectors watched. “One of them was a Sikh. The ACP took off his turban and beat him. He stepped on the neck of the second man.”



This is the second such incident of an attack on a journalist from the magazine. On August 11, a frenzied group of men and women came out into these lanes and violently assaulted Prabhjit Singh, Shahid Tantray, and a woman journalist who has remained anonymous. The three were working on a newsreport when they were surrounded, beaten, communally abused, harassed, and threatened with murder by the mob. The woman journalist was also sexually harassed by a mob of men when she escaped into a bylane, in an attempt to reach the local police station. The mob threated to kill photojournalist Shahid Tantray, on learning that he was a Muslim, they verbally abused him and Prabhjit Singh, a Sikh, with communal slurs.

The three journalists narrowly escaped the worst, and somehow reached the Bhajanpura police station, as did the mob. The journalists spent hours writing a detailed complaint by hand recording the sequence of violence they had just survived. The matter was widely reported and even the National Human Rights Commission asked Delhi Police to file an action-taken report about the attack. The Human Rights Defenders Alert – India had filed a complaint before the NHRC seeking a criminal investigation into the attack and compensation for the journalists. The Caravan reported that the Police did not even respond to NHRC. On September 29, Henri Tiphagne, national working secretary with HRDA-India, wrote to the NHRC to inform them the police had not complied with the order. 

It is important to note that the three journalists were following up on allegations raised by two Muslim women and a teenager that police officials had sexually assaulted them inside the Bhajanpura station premises. “It is our firm belief that this police failure to act, prima facie deliberate, amounts to a serious incident of human rights violation against HRDs”—human-rights defenders—“and journalists in the national capital of India,” the Human Rights Defenders Alert  complaint had stated. “Not only were the journalists subjected to a violent mob attack in plain sight, the Delhi Police did not act to adequately shield or protect the journalists or register the FIRs as they are legally mandated. This is a serious breach of the law by the police.” 

The last time journalists were attacked, Delhi Police had given themselves a clean chit. An official update on this latest assault is awaited.



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