Karnataka state police personnel are seen in Rajinikanth, Bangalore, on June 7, 2018. Two journalists were recently assaulted in Karnataka state, and another in Uttar Pradesh. (AFP/Manjunath Kiran)

Journalists assaulted in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka states in India

June 17, 2019 12:58 PM ET

Three journalists were assaulted in two Indian states on June 11 and 12, 2019, according to news reports.

On June 11, in Shamli, Uttar Pradesh state, Government Railway Police personnel assaulted, detained, and abused Amit Sharma, a journalist with privately owned Hindi news broadcaster News 24, according to news reports.

Station House Officer Rakesh Kumar took Sharma's phone from him, threw it away, and then slapped the journalist multiple times across the face, Sharma told CPJ via phone. Officers then detained Sharma for two hours, where they hit and kicked him, stripped him of his clothes, and urinated in his mouth, Sharma said in a press conference, according to Indian broadcaster NDTV.

Sharma was freed after two fellow journalists arrived and negotiated his release, he told CPJ. He said he does not know if any charges have been filed against him.

Sharma was in Shamli on his way to report on a train derailment, and had previously reported on alleged corruption within the Government Railway Police, he told CPJ.

On June 12, Uttar Pradesh police suspended Kumar and Constable Sanjay Pawar, according to a statement released by the police on Twitter. Railway Police Superintendent Subhash Chand Dubey told the Press Trust of India news agency that police filed criminal cases against four officers, including Kumar, on charges of robbery, causing harm, insult, and wrongful confinement.

CPJ texted Dubey for comment but did not receive a response. CPJ reached out to Kumar and Pawar through their colleagues, but neither replied to CPJ's requests for comment.

On June 12, in Tumakuru district, Karnataka state, workers at a pharmaceutical company attacked broadcast reporters Manjunath, with Raj News, and Devaraju, with Samaya TV, who each have one name, according to news reports.

The journalists were reporting for their respective privately owned broadcasters on alleged environmental hazards created by a pharmaceutical factory when four workers from the company attacked them, kicking and punching the journalists, according to those reports.

Police have arrested four people and charged them with attempted murder and rioting, Tumakuru Superintendent of Police Vamshi Krishna told Indian news website The News Minute. The journalists were hospitalized with bruising following the attack, according to news agency Asia News International.

CPJ texted Krishna and emailed the pharmaceutical company for comment but did not receive a response from either party.

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