On 16 October, Delhi Police assaulted The Caravan’s staffer Ahan Penkar while he was reporting in North Delhi. ACP Ajay Kumar kicked & slapped him inside the Model Town station premises. Penkar has sustained injuries on his nose, his shoulder, his back and his ankle. He repeatedly told the police that he was a journalist and prominently displayed his press ID. The police forcibly took his phone from him and then deleted all the videos he had recorded while reporting. Penkar was detained for nearly four hours.
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 an FIR in the case. Penkar has filed a complaint to SN Shrivastava, Delhi’s commissioner of police, regarding the assault on him.
Reporters Without Borders has released a statement condemning the attack and demanding immediate action. The statement is reproduced below. Read The Caravan’s report on the attack here.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that New Delhi police arrested and beat a reporter covering a protest about the death of a teenage girl, and deleted his photos and videos. Appropriate sanctions are needed so that this kind of behaviour stops, RSF said.
Ahan Penkar, a reporter for The Caravan magazine, was treated this way by police in the north Delhi suburb of Model Town on the afternoon of 16 October despite repeatedly identifying himself as a journalist and showing them his press card.
Penkar arrived at the Model Town police station at around 2:45 pm to cover a demonstration outside by a small crowd protesting the refusal of the police to register a complaint about a 17-year-old girl from the Dalit caste (formerly known as Untouchables) who was allegedly raped and murdered by her higher-caste employer.