Penkar was reporting on a protest concerning the alleged rape and murder of a teen-aged girl in North Delhi which the police claimed was a suicide
NEW DELHI — Caravan magazine journalist Ahan Penkar (24) was allegedly kicked and slapped multiple times by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Ajay Kumar at Model Town police station in North Delhi on Friday when he went there to cover a protest demonstration against an alleged rape-murder of a minor Dalit girl in the affluent neigbourhood.
“ACP Ajay Kumar kicked and slapped Penkar inside the Model Town station premises. Penkar repeatedly told the police that he was a journalist and prominently displayed his press ID. The police forcibly took his phone from him and then deleted all the videos he had recorded while reporting. He was detained for nearly four hours. He has sustained injuries on his nose, his shoulder, his back and his ankle,” said the magazine in a series of tweets attaching a police complaint filed by Penkar with the Delhi police commissioner S N Srivastava.
Penkar was reporting on a protest concerning the alleged rape and murder of a teenaged girl in North Delhi which the police claimed was a suicide. Students and activists had gathered outside the Model Town police station to demand the registration of an FIR in the case.
In the police complaint, Penkar said that the police took him along with several protesters inside the police station even though he kept showing his press card and told them that he was a journalist.
“When I was sitting on the ground in a room in the police station, the ACP kicked me on my back and my shoulders. The ACP made me prostrate with my head nearly on the ground and then beat my back again. The ACP also stamped my ankle,” he said in the criminal complaint against ACP Kumar and other officials under Sections 323, 342 and 506 on the Indian Penal Code.
“ACP Ajay Kumar came into the room holding a steel rod and threatened to beat us with the rod. Then he dropped the rod and started beating all of us with his hands and legs,” Penkar said.
He further said: “Other police officers, whose names I do not know but can recognize if they are produced in front of me, also participated in the physical assault on the protesters, including beating a Sardar boy and a Muslim man. The police also removed the Sardar boy’s turban during the assault. At least five other police officers, apart from the ACP, assaulted us. Five other police officers were watching all this happen. Throughout the assault, the police officers kept abusing us”.
Earlier in August, three journalists of the magazine were attacked by a Hindu mob in northeast Delhi’s Gonda while they were reporting on the incidents related to Delhi’s anti-Muslim communal violence.