The Editors Guild of India on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the Delhi Police’s attack on The Caravan magazine’s journalist Ahan Penkar last week, while he was covering a protest against the alleged gangrape and murder of a Dalit girl in the national Capital.
“The police detained the protestors as well as Penkar, even when he was performing his professional duty,” the statement said. “Despite displaying his press credentials, Penkar was slapped, kicked and detained by the police for four hours. His phone was seized and his reported material including photographs were deleted.”
The Editors Guild said that the attack on Penkar violates constitutional principles and the media’s right to report freely. It demanded strict action from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava against the police officers involved in the assault. The association also demanded that any case filed against the journalist should be halted.
“Penkar is the fourth journalist from The Caravan who has been attacked in the last two months in the Indian capital,” the statement read.
The Caravan said Additional Commissioner of Police Ajay Kumar allegedly kicked and slapped Penkar inside the Model Town Police Station premises on October 16. Penkar sustained injuries to his nose, shoulder, back and ankle.
On October 18, the Press Club of India had condemned the attack on Penkar inside the Model Town Police Station. Students and activists had gathered outside the Model Town Police Station demanding that a first information report be filed in the case.
The Press Club had also said the rape and murder of the child was extremely shocking, coming on the back of the Hathras rape and murder. It had asked the Delhi Commission for Women and the Delhi Human Rights Commission to take appropriate action in the matter.