In a shocking incident that occurred on early Wednesday (June 12, 2019), Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel thrashed a journalist in western Uttar Pradesh's Shamli who was covering a train derailment near Dhimanpura.
The journalist identified as Amit Sharma of News 24 was beaten up on camera by a group of GRP personnel led by SHO Rakesh Kumar. In the video, the group was seen repeatedly slapping and thrashing the journalist while he tries to reason with them.
According to ANI, the journalist said, "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."
In more videos being circulated on Twitter, the journalist can be seen narrating his ordeal from behind the bars while Station House Officer (SHO) Rakesh Kumar sits on a chair outside and rejects all his charges.
The journalist told his colleagues who were protesting at the police station that he was being subjected to this torture because of a negative story he did on the railway police force.
Taking cognizance of the matter, the UP DGP, O.P. Singh has ordered for immediate suspension of SHO GRP Shamli Rakesh Kumar and Constable Sanjay Pawar.
This comes a day after the Supreme Court came down heavily on Uttar Pradesh police for arresting freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia for posting tweets on CM Yogi Adityanath.
The court ordered an immediate release of Kanojia on June 11, 2019, noting that the “liberty of a citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable” and that “it is guaranteed by the Constitution and it cannot be infringed”.