NHRC notice to UP police chief on journalist's thrashing



The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to Uttar Pradesh's Director General of Police demanding a detailed report of the incident of the thrashing of a journalist by railway police personnel in the state's Shamli earlier this week.

The apex human rights body has asked the DGP to also include the Action Taken Report (ATR) against the guilty public servants and the status of the FIR registered against them in his report.

In a press statement, the NHRC said: "Just a few hours after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a journalist, another TV journalist in west Uttar Pradesh's Shamli district was brutally assaulted by the SHO of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on the night of June 11. He (the SHO) along with a constable were booked and suspended after videos of the attack went viral the next day."

"Reportedly, a group of reporters assembled in the Dhimanpura area where two bogies of a goods train had derailed in the night. An argument took place between the journalist and the police personnel. The victim was then thrashed and dragged to the local GRP police station where he was locked up. The victim has claimed that he was stripped and the SHO urinated in his mouth," the statement said.

Severely indicting the violent act, the NHRC observed: "If the contents of the media reports are correct it amounts to gross violation of the victim. Going by the reported allegations, this kind of cruel and uncivilized act by a public servant is highly disgraceful and cannot be tolerated in a civilized society. Stern action should be taken against the police personnel if found guilty so that such barbaric act is not repeated by any public servant in future."

The NHRC also referred to media reports appearing on June 13 in which the SHO is seen, in a video clip, attacking the journalist.

The victim has reportedly charged the police personnel of attacking him out of vengeance as last month he had run a story about an encroachment by unauthorized vendors in connivance with GRP personnel, the NHRC said.

An FIR based on the journalist's complaint has been registered and departmental inquiry ordered under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police, Railways. IANS