Delhi police, student activists beat journalists

Police and student activists beat at least eight journalists covering fighting between rival student groups at Delhi University’s Ramjas College on February 22, 2017, according to media reports and journalists speaking to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Clashes between supporters of Umar Khalid, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University who had been scheduled to speak at a seminar on nationalism, and members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a Hindu-nationalist student movement erupted the afternoon of February 22.

At around 1 p.m., a woman attacked Taruni Kumar, a reporter with the English-language news website The Quint, as the journalist tried to record police detaining ABVP members, Kumar told CPJ.

“Just as these guys were being pushed into the [police] bus, a woman came in from the right and pulled my phone and pulled my hair,” she told CPJ. “My glasses fell off, my iPhone [on which she was recording] was smashed and chunks of my hair were pulled out by her.”

Police that evening attacked at least two journalists from The Quint covering a student protest outside Delhi’s Maurice Nagar police station, where students arrested in the fighting were held. Anant Prakash, a reporter for The Quint, told CPJ that he and cameraman Shiv Kumar Maurya were filming students protesting outside the station when police attacked them.

“We told them repeatedly that we are from the media, and they said, ‘Then you should get beaten up even more,'” Prakash told CPJ. He said that police pushed him against a bus and hit Maurya on the head.

According to The Times of India, police also assaulted two of the newspaper’s journalists, Somreet Bhattacharya and Anindya Chattopadhaya, as well as Hindustan Times journalist Ananya Bhardwaj, Times Now journalist Mazhar Khan, and an eighth reporter identified only as Priyank.