A day after police quizzed a Hindustan Times journalist about contacting organisers of the February 9 Jawaharlal Nehru University event, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has taken cognizance of the matter and decided to raise the issue with the Delhi Police.
“Police has no business to quiz/threaten reporters, transgressing their line. It is attack on freedom of the press. Police can’t ask reporters about their talk with anyone. Editor’s guild/BEA should take strong note and condemn (sic),” AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted on Monday morning after reading HT’s report.
“I am going to meet Police by 4 today, with Ashish Khetan, Dilip and Deepak on the issue of Delhi police quizzing/threatening reporters on JNU (sic),” he said in a following tweet.
On Monday, HT reported how investigators were accessing details of journalists who contacted any of the students before or after the event, and questioning them for information. A section of the students went missing after student body president Kanhaiya Kumar was arrested more than a week ago.
On Sunday evening, HT’s education reporter was questioned over phone by one Babu Lal, who claimed to be an officer from the Vasant Kunj/Vihar police station. The man enquired about Anirban Bhattacharya, one of the missing JNU students, and the reporter’s telephonic conversation with him.
Some journalists, who contacted the organisers over phone with regards to coverage of the event, are being examined and questioned on the telephone to ascertain the whereabouts of Umar Khalid, an accused in the issue, and others who are evading interrogation. Two journalists working with the Hindustan Times were also questioned regarding the same in the past five days.