Attack on Caravan journalists: Press Club of India demands FIR, judicial probe set up by Delhi govt

12 August, 2020

On 11 August 2020, three journalists working with The Caravan—Shahid Tantray, Prabhjit Singh and a woman journalist—were beaten, subjected to communal slurs, threatened with murder, and sexually harassed, while reporting in Subhash Mohalla, in northeast Delhi.

The Press Club of India released a statement condemning the attack and demanded an FIR and judicial probe set up by the Delhi government. The statement is reproduced below. Read The Caravan’s report on the attack here.

The Press Club of India expresses serious concern on the assault on three journalists of the Caravan magazine in Northeast Delhi on 11 August, 2020. They were on assignment to cover communal conflagration following the August 5 developments in Ayodhya. It is in the same area that planned communal violence had occurred in February this year instigated and executed by elements enjoying the patronage of politically powerful elements. 

The Caravan journalists had been reporting the communal trouble since August 5. Their reporting had drawn attention to allegations by some women of the area of communal ill-will being shown to them at the police station where they had been asked to come to record an FIR, and soon police personnel were engaging in sexual misconduct. The impression of a brittle communal atmosphere and protection to communal elements by police was evident in the reporting.  

The police on duty eventually took the three journalists to the Bhajanpura police station for their safety but did not prevent the assault on them. Nor did it make any effort to deter the attackers.

This amounts to failure of police to protect law abiding citizens from aggressive groups, and can only further encourage criminal and communal elements.

We demand the following: 1. The immediate registration of a proper FIR, which the police have so far refused, and 2) a judicial probe to establish the obstacles being placed in the path of journalists reporting the spread of the communal virus since February this year in a communally sensitive part of Delhi. Such a probe should be set up by the elected government of Delhi.

Sd/  Anand K Sahay (President)