Police beat me up, urinated in the mouth: Journo covering train accident. A local reporter covering the derailment of a train in Uttar Pradesh was thrashed by Government Railway Police on Tuesday, a video showed. The reporter claimed police locked him up, stripped him & urinated in his mouth, adding that he was assaulted for covering a story that “exposed corruption in the GRP forces”. Two policemen have been suspended following the incident.
In [T]he latest incident of police action against journalists in Uttar Pradesh, a local reporter covering the derailment of goods train in the state’s Shamli district was thrashed by a unit of the Government Railway Police [GRP] on Tuesday, 11th June.
[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.
Meanwhile, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath held a review meeting on the law & 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 & it fell down. When I picked it up they hit & abused me. I was locked up, stripped & they urinated in my mouth.”
[T]he police officers were seen in the video – Station House Officer (SHO) Rakesh Kumar & constable Sanjay Pawar – have been suspended following the incident.
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 were taking hafta from the unauthorized 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 ₹ 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.
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 meters away from the spot. They also abused me & locked me up,” he said.
Sharma, who was bailed out by two fellow journalists on 12th June, also told [T]he Quint that a protest was being staged outside the police station by media personnel that adequate action & inquiry be taken against the police personnel.
[T]he derailment of the goods train reportedly occurred 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.