A case was filed against two policemen after a video of them assaulting a journalist in Assam’s Chirang district went viral on social media, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
Two constables of the Assam Police on Monday beat up Pratidin Times journalist Jayanta Debnath (47) in Basugaon town after he asked them why they were not wearing helmets while riding a two-wheeler.
A case has been filed against the two constables, Pradip Saha and Lakhi Barman, under the Indian Penal Code sections that provide punishment for wrongful restraint and causing injuries. A departmental inquiry has also been initiated and the report has to be submitted within 20 days.
According to Chirang district Superintendent of Police Pranab Bora, the two constables were also fined under the Motor Vehicles Act for not wearing helmets and were sent to the police reserve.
Debnath said he asked the two policemen what message they were sending to the citizens by not wearing helmets, ANI reported. “They abused and assaulted me in broad daylight,” said Debnath. “When I told them I am a journalist, they got more furious.”
He said that the police have been given a free hand in Assam and are misusing it. Debnath urged the government to expedite action against the two constables. “Had the incident occurred at night, they might have shot me dead,” he said.
Chirang Deputy Superintendent of Police Laba Kr Deka said the police are taking necessary action based on the first information report filed by Debnath.
President of the Guwahati Press Club Manoj Nath said that the assault on the journalist for asking questions was unfortunate, according to The Indian Express. “If such incidents keep happening in Assam, then common people will lose trust in the administration and police,” he said.
Nath has asked for a high-level inquiry in Debnath’s assault.