On the evening of 24 January, News Nation editor Deepak Chaurasia was heckled by a mob at the protest site in Shaheen Bagh.
The veteran journalist posted a video on twitter that showed a man in a yellow jacket stopping Chaurasia from reporting, covering the camera and heckling the team. Deepak Chaurasia and his team were reporting on the anti-CAA protests that have been held at Shaheen Bagh for over a month now.
सुन रहे हैं कि संविधान ख़तरे में है, सुन रहे हैं कि लड़ाई प्रजातंत्र को बचाने की है! जब मैं शाहीन बाग की उसी आवाज़ को देश को दिखाने पहुँचा तो वहाँ मॉब लिंचिंग से कम कुछ नहीं मिला! #CAAProtests #ShaheenBagh pic.twitter.com/EhJxfWviTp— Deepak Chaurasia (@DChaurasia2312) January 24, 2020
According to News Nation, the two video journalists who were also present with Chaurasia were attacked by miscreants and their camera was destroyed.
Chaurasia lodged an FIR against the unknown miscreants on Friday, 24 January. According to News Nation, DCP South East Delhi Chinmay Biswal registered the complaint under the Section 394 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – which pertains to voluntarily causing hurt while committing robbery. The DCP also reportedly assured them that action will be taken against the perpetrators.
Journalists Condemn the Act of Violence Against Chaurasia
Several journalists took to Twitter to condemn the incident.
Nidhi Razdan, executive editor at NDTV, condemned the act and stated that the attack on the journalist is “unacceptable”.
This attack on a journalist who was there to do his job is simply unacceptable. This only hurts the genuine protests at Shaheen Bagh. https://t.co/RRY3w6S7fA— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) January 24, 2020
Veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai also condemned the manhandling of the journalist and, terming it “goondagiri” and said the culprits should be arrested.
Unacceptable heckling/manhandling of senior journalist @DChaurasia2312 at Shaheen Bagh. You have a problem with a section of the media? Just switch off the channel.. breaking cameras, manhandling journalists is plain and simple goondagiri. Culprits should be arrested.— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 25, 2020
Although he said pushing and shoving was not the way to deal with this, Sreenivasan Jain noted that Chaurasia and reporters like him had become inciters of hate, which had to be fought through legitimate means.
Folks like Deepak C (once a fine reporter) have stopped being journalists long ago. The hate they incite daily has consequences. This brand of 'journalism' has to be fought through legit. means. Not through pushing and shoving.— Sreenivasan Jain (@SreenivasanJain) January 25, 2020
NBF Releases Statement
Arnab Goswami, the President of the News Broadcasters Federation, condemned the attack on Deepak Chaurasia.
The NBF president in his statement on behalf of the Federation mentioned that the federation is extremely concerned about alleged repeated instances of the violent attacks on the journalists in the line of duty at Shaheen Bagh.
The NBF statement further mentions that the attack on the journalists reflects the growing hostility of some claiming to be protesters at Shaheen Bagh. The NBF has demanded immediate police action against those who have perpetrated the violence.
Hundreds of protesters led by women are demonstrating against the CAA passed by the Central government at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh since 15 December 2019.
While the protests have been calm, this incident has raised many questions.
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