A woman constable and a head constable of the Delhi Police have been suspended for allegedly snatching the camera of a photo-journalist during a protest march organised by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students.
“On a complaint received from the photo-journalist who had alleged snatching of her camera, a case was registered and taken up for investigation. The camera has since been traced and the police is contacting the photo-journalist to facilitate its restoration,” the police said on Sunday.
Madhur Verma, Delhi Police PRO, confirmed that the two police personnel had been placed under suspension.
“On the basis of the preliminary findings of vigilance enquiry for the unprofessional conduct of mishandling the journalist’s camera during crowd control, one woman constable of the Delhi Armed Police and one head constable (male) have been placed under suspension,” he added.
Two journalists have filed separate complaints accusing police personnel of assaulting and molesting mediapersons.
As per media reports, photojournalist Anushree Fadnavis was on duty when she was roughed up by the police. Her camera was also confiscated by the police.
In an another case, a journalist had alleged that she was “groped” by an Inspector of the Delhi Police and asked to vacate the place.
On 23 March, JNU students and teachers were stopped from marching to the Parliament Complex over various demands, including academic freedom, with police resorting to lathi-charge and use of water cannons.
The “Padyatra”, which started at the varsity’s campus, was organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA).
The protesters were stopped near Sanjay Jheel area in south Delhi by the police, who also resorted to baton-charge and used water cannons to disperse the students participating in the march.
However, the protesting students claimed that the attack by the police was “unprovoked” and in the clashes that followed, journalists were targeted.
On 24 March, mediapersons protested outside the Delhi Police headquarters, condemning the attack and demanding action against the guilty cops.
In a symbolic protest, journalists had placed their cameras on the ground near the police headquarters and refused to remove their equipment till punitive action was taken against the police personnel involved in the assault.