In a shocking case of violence against media persons, a journalist covering a train derailment near Dhimanpura of Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district was thrashed by Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel in the early hours of Wednesday.

The GRP officials who were in plain clothes on the spot, abused, kicked and beat up Amit Sharma of News 24. They also snatched his camera.

The journalist said that the cops refused to listen to him and continued to thrash him.

“I was locked up, stripped and they urinated upon right into my mouth,” Sharma said.

Several scribes rushed to the police station on learning about the incident and put the video footage of cops beating up Amit Sharma on the social media. The journalists also contacted senior officials at the police headquarters.

Station House Officer Rakesh Kumar and GRP constable Sunil Kumar have been suspended and a probe has been ordered into the incident.

The journalist was later released.

Shamli’s Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Kumar Pandey said that the senior officials had been apprised of the incident which was “unfortunate” and strict action would be taken against the accused.

There has been an increase in cases of arrests and violence against journalists in the state.

The incident comes hours after the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of freelance journalist, Prashant Kanojia who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for ‘defamatory video’ on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Five people including three media persons were arrested in a span of two days for allegedly uploading “defamatory” post on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

A freelance journalist, an editor of a TV channel and its owner were arrested on Saturday over contents that were considered objectionable against the Chief Minister. Another man from Gorakhpur and a woman were arrested on Sunday.

The arrests had sparked a huge debate on social media on freedom of expression in the country.

(With inputs from IANS)