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Journalist questioned in 2020 assault case in Bhajanpura

The journalists were subjected to communal slurs and threatened with murder; the woman reporter was sexually harassed, the magazine alleged.
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 00:54 IST
Last Updated : 09 June 2024, 00:54 IST

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New Delhi: Four years after three journalists and a group of residents in North-East Delhi's Bhajanpura area accused each other of assault, police have questioned one of the scribes in the case.

The journalist, Prabhjit Singh, who works with The Caravan was served a notice on June 3 and asked to join the probe on June 7, a senior police officer said on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Joy Tirkey said Singh joined the probe at Bhajanpura Police Station on June 7 and his statement was recorded.

Further investigations in the matter is underway, he said.

Giving details of the case, the officer said on August 11, 2020 at about 3 PM, a PCR call was received at Bhajanpura police station about an altercation involving some media persons.

According to the journalists, the incident occurred when they had gone to report a story in Bhajanpura.

Both parties filed separate complaints against each other, after which two separate FIRs were registered, the police said.

Singh had alleged that a woman reporter accompanying him was assaulted and molested by some persons at Subhash Mohalla in Bhajanpura, the officer said.

He said Singh did not mention the names of the accused in his complaint.

A woman resident also had filed a written complaint regarding the incident alleging Prabhjit Singh and his two fellow reporters including Shahid Tantray assaulted her and her husband.

He said the complainant also alleged the trio did 'negative reporting' promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.

The officer said from the woman resident's statement was recorded before the magistrate but the woman reporter has not joined the investigation so far.

The Caravan in a statement said it was a 'worrying' development and neither it nor the named journalists were informed of any such FIR for four years.

It claimed that on 11 August 2020, a mob assaulted three journalists working with it - Shahid Tantray, Prabhjit Singh and a woman journalist - in northeast Delhi's Subhash Mohalla neighbourhood.

The journalists were subjected to communal slurs and threatened with murder; the woman reporter was sexually harassed, the magazine alleged.

"These are shocking and worrying developments. The allegations in the FIR are absolutely false and fabricated. For four years, neither The Caravan nor the named journalists were ever informed of any such FIR," it said.

"Although our complaints were filed on the day of the incident itself, the police did not register our FIR until three days later, on 14 August 2020. The police have informed us that our FIR is being considered a 'counter FIR'," it added.

"We have joined the investigation and intend to comply fully with the due process of law. We will exercise our rights under the law to challenge these false accusations and have them dismissed," the statement added.

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Published 09 June 2024, 00:54 IST

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