ACP assaults Pune journalist: Pune Police chief orders probe
On Saturday, 24-year-old journalist Dnyanesh Bhukele says he was assaulted by More while on official assignment to cover a tribal students’ hostel strike in Manjri near Hadapsar.pune Updated: Dec 18, 2017 15:33 IST
Pune Police commissioner Rashmi Shukla has ordered an inquiry to be conducted by a deputy commissioner of police (DCP) into an alleged assault by assistant commissioner of police (Wanowrie division), Nilesh More, on a scribe working with Marathi daily Loksatta.
On Saturday, 24-year-old journalist Dnyanesh Bhukele says he was assaulted by More while on official assignment to cover a tribal students’ hostel strike in Manjri near Hadapsar.
ACP More has denied the allegations.
Bhukele alleged that the ACP snatched his cellphone and threatened to destroy his career while dragging him to Hadapsar police station, where he was forced to sign an apology letter for asking questions in a wrong manner. Bhukele later submitted his statement to the police where he said: “ I had gone to the tribal students’ hostel run by the state government, to cover the hunger strike by the students pressing for their various demands. Project officer Ayush Prasad arrived at the programme for a discussion with the students. While Prasad was leaving, I asked him about the agitation. I was recording his answers on my phone. When Prasad saw this, he asked me to delete the recording. ACP More who was present there asked me delete the recording. I showed them my identity card and refused to delete it.”
The journalist said it was then that ACP More and the other policemen present at the spot physically dragged him to the police vehicle. “They beat me up and snatched my phone. I kept requesting them to give my phone back to me and showed them my bonafide press credentials , but they threatened to beat me again. While on the way to the police station, they slapped me and hit me hard on hand,” said Bukele.
“ There were about 250 students protesting at the hostel. The concerned media person was recording the conversation in a ‘hidden way’ and didn’t produce the official identity card when asked. He showed it to us only in the police van. It is wrong to say that he was beaten up. I wanted to ensure that the recording did not have anything sensitive, therefore, I wanted to listen to it,” ACP More said.
When quizzed about apology letter, ACP More said , “The journalist was afraid that any police record in his name will spoil his future career and hence, he offered to write the letter.”
Following the incident, the Pune Union of Working Journalists (PUWJ) maintained that the media has the right to ask questions and the police cannot determine the manner in which they ask the questions. PUWJ president Shailesh Kale said, “We would be raising the issue with the police commissioner on Monday and will demand strict action against ACP More.” Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe has also demanded action against ACP More.