UP police detain, harass ‘The Hindu’ scribe; release after DGP’s intervention

Police accused ‘The Hindu’ correspondent Omar Rashid of being involved in violent anti-CAA protest in Lucknow wherein one person killed. He was released after calls were made to CM office and UP DGP

Omar Rashid was kept in detention for hours during which he was grilled about the ‘conspiracy’. 
Omar Rashid was kept in detention for hours during which he was grilled about the ‘conspiracy’.

NH Political Bureau

In the pretext of quelling anti CAA protest, the UP police detained, harassed The Hindu correspondent Omar Rashid on Thursday. Lucknow based Rashid was released after CMO intervened in the matter.

As per reports, Rashid was picked up by the Lucknow police from a restaurant outside the BJP office on Friday evening.

He was filing story for his newspaper at the time of detention. Along with Rashid, Robin Verma of Rihai Manch was also detained by the police. However, after two hours of harassment, Rashid was released, Verma was arrested by the police.

Talking to NH, Rashid said he revealed his identity as a journalist immediately after police apprehended him but the policemen who were in plain cloths did not pay any heed. The policemen did not reveal their identity when asked, said Rashid.

“They locked us up in a room. They took away all my belongings including my phone. They beat up my friend brutally. They questioned him and linked him to the violence. They also linked me to the violence saying I am a key conspirator in the violence. They were asking me questions about certain Kashmiris coming here and participating in the violence. Each time I was trying to ask them something they asked me to shut up. They used expletives and said you can put your journalism elsewhere; we do not care about it. They told me they had proof against me. They put us in a jeep again and took us to an outpost. Another police officer used a lot of communal slurs against me and said he would tear my beard,” Rashid told NDTV.

Rashid was released after calls were made to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office and to the Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh, reported NDTV.

Apart from journalists, the UP police have arrested scores of social activists. Among those arrested by the UP police include prominent activists like lawyer Mohd Shoaib and former IPS officer and activist SR Darapuri.

Many cities in Uttar Pradesh have witnessed a massive protest against the new Citizenship Act, which for the first time makes religion as the basis of citizenship in India.

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Published: 21 Dec 2019, 3:09 PM