On the afternoon of 16 October, the Delhi Police detained and assaulted Ahan Penkar, a 24-year-old staffer of The Caravan, while he was reporting in north Delhi. Ajay Kumar, the assistant commissioner of police of Model Town, kicked and slapped Penkar inside the Model Town police station premises. Penkar had repeatedly told the police that he was a journalist and prominently displayed his press card.
The police forcibly took Penkar’s phone from him and deleted all the photos and videos he had recorded while reporting. Penkar was detained for nearly four hours. In the assault, he sustained injuries on his nose, shoulder, back and ankle.
Penkar was reporting on a protest concerning the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit teenager in north Delhi. Students and activists had gathered outside the Model Town police station to demand the registration of a first-information report in the case, against a complaint by her relative. In early October, the 14-year-old had been discovered dead in the home at which she was employed as a domestic worker. The police had ruled her death a suicide, but the family suspects that she had been raped and murdered by the employer.