A photojournalist with a Hindi daily on Thursday accused the police of manhandling him while he was covering the sealing drive in South East Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, PTI reported.
Traders alleged that the journalist had taken a photograph of Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Amit Sharma slapping a store employee. The police allegedly snatched away the journalist’s camera and forced him to delete the photograph, DNA reported. The photojournalist and his colleague were then reportedly detained at the Amar Colony police station.
“There was a law and order situation,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak. “They [the police] had to contain the crowd and in that, they [the photojournalists] were restrained. An inquiry will take place in the matter.”
The police said more than 100 traders started protesting against the sealing drive and had attempted to stop traffic on an arterial road. A few police personnel and businessmen were injured in the scuffle that followed. “We were trying to stop them [traders] from blocking the Ring Road,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast district) Chinmoy Biswal. “No one was beaten up by us.”
The police are assisting the South Delhi Municipal Corporation in this sealing drive and closed 400 of the more than 700 shops in the Amar Colony market, The Indian Express reported.
“We were not sent any notice or shown any orders,” Kamal Chawla, who runs a garment shop, told the daily. “Police came at 10 am and beat up people, including women. We have paid conversion charges, we have trade licences and GST numbers…they did not listen to us.”
Another trader questioned why the ground floors of the shops were sealed. “Nowhere in Delhi were ground floors sealed…we don’t understand the logic,” said 25-year-old Ujjwal Madan.