ITANAGAR, Sep 19: The police assaulted a journalist when he was covering the bandh related news at Bank Tinali here on Tuesday.
The police also snatched his camera and identity card. After confronted by other journalists, the police returned the camera only after deleting all the video recordings.
Mongpong Natung, reporter of Arunachal News 24X7 was covering the clash between the security forces and the protesters between the Legi Complex and Industries office area when a policeman in civil dress, who was later identified as Head Constable (Telecom) Ravi Singh, suddenly stopped him and snatched his press identity card along with the video camera before hitting him.
“Despite my clarification of being a media person and same being proven by my ID which was in his possession, Constable Singh paid no heed to my pleadings and instead hit me on my head saying why I had put on a helmet. He then passed on my ID and camera to another policeman identified as Sub-Inspector A K Singh, who then went on to delete some of the very crucial video footage I had captured of the clashes between the security personnel and the protesters,” Natung said.
“Despite repeated pleas of being a media person and the importance of the job, which should be free of interference from the protesters as well as the police, the SI instead began taking pictures of my ID with the camera that was snatched from me,” he added.
In an emergency meeting at the Press Club here this evening, the media fraternity condemned the assault demanded immediate suspension of both the erring police officials.
The Arunachal Press Club, Arunachal Electronic Media Association and Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalist while demanding immediate suspension also said the police misused its power by destroying intellectual property of a media house instead of protecting the right of media persons.
The press bodies also urged the state government to give directives to the state police to behave with media persons, while citing that it was the second incident where police have snatched camera and deleted all its content.