PCI Takes Suo Moto Cognizance of Journalist Sakshi Joshi’s Manhandling by Delhi Police at Wrestlers’ Protest Site

The Press Council of India (PCI) has taken suo moto cognizance of the alleged assault on journalist Sakshi Joshi by Delhi Police while she was covering the wrestlers' protests at Jantar Mantar on May 4

The PCI has demanded a report from the concerned authorities about the incident. Joshi was reportedly manhandled and prohibited from entering Jantar Mantar, the protest site. The incident occurred during the ongoing protest by women wrestlers against the Wrestlers Federation of India chief, Brij Bhushan Singh, who is also a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh.

On May 3, the protesters were allegedly abused by Delhi Police, with several videos of the incident going viral on social media. The videos show the protesters being surrounded by male police officers who reportedly pushed them without any women officers present. It is claimed that two protesters were injured, and a drunk cop misbehaved with and hurled abuse at female wrestlers.

Joshi, an independent digital journalist, was among the reporters who sought to cover the wrestlers’ protest on May 4. However, in a video she posted on Twitter, Joshi is seen being manhandled and detained by police. Some officers of Delhi Police can be seen asking reporters to move away while one police personnel was asking others to take away the phones of the journalists present there. When Joshi questioned why they were being detained, the official said they would be told about it later. Joshi also showed on video how her clothes were torn while she was being manhandled.

She also showed on video that she was let off in the middle of a deserted road outside Mandir Marg police station around 1.30 am and asked to go home.

Various press bodies, including the Indian Women Press Corps, the National Alliance of Journalists, and the Delhi Union of Journalists, have condemned the incident and called for an inquiry. The New York-based  Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also demanded an impartial investigation. DIGIPUB News India Foundation released a statement on May 5 condemning the police’s actions and censorship of journalists on World Press Freedom Day.

Joshi has sent a complaint to Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora demanding an inquiry. The incident has sparked widespread outrage and calls for action against the concerned police personnel.

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