On Thursday evening, as protests raged against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Guwahati, Assam police personnel barged into the office of Prag News, a private TV news channel, and beat up its staffers, its managing editor told Scroll.in.
“It was completely unprovoked and we demand an unconditional apology from Assam police,” said Pranay Bordoloi, the managing editor.
Around 6 pm, the police first entered the campus of Prag News in the Ulubari locality and beat up some staffers sitting outside the building. Then, entering the building, it beat up other staffers near the reception area, Bordoloi said.
About 45 minutes before the incident took place, the police had dispersed protestors in the locality, asking them to move inside, he said. But there was no reason for them to enter a media office, Bordoloi added.
An indefinite curfew has been imposed in the city and the Indian Army has been deployed to maintain peace. Both mobile and broadband internet have been suspended for 48 hours.
Thousands of protestors defied the curfew and gathered in a large ground for a protest meeting around noon. In the evening, clashes reportedly broke out between the protestors and the police in many places.
Two people were killed and eight injured, the Director General of Police told Scroll.in. Reuters reported that 11 people with bullet injuries had been brought to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.
On Wednesday, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of the Modi government had issued an advisory to private TV news channels. The advisory cautioned them against airing content that disturbs law and order or “promotes anti-national attitudes and/or contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation”.