‘Republic In Peril’: 32 journalists attacked from Dec 2019 to Feb 2020 in Delhi alone, finds report
The recently released report by the Committee Against Assault on Journalists documents a total of 32 cases of various types of Assaults on Journalists in Delhi after the anti-CAA protests began
Freedom of Press is in danger these days across the country. Recently, two channels were suspended for their coverage on Delhi Riots. Prior to this, several journalists were thrashed, shot at and assaulted while they were covering Delhi riots.
The recently released report by Committee Against Assault on Journalists (CAAJ) documents a total of 32 cases of various types of assaults on journalists in Delhi after the anti-CAA protests began.
The report titled "Republic In Peril" mentions instances from December 2019 to February 2020. CAAJ report outlines three phases of assault in Delhi.
The first phase being December 2019 when anti-CAA protests began with Jamia Millia Islamia University taking the centre stage.
Seven cases have been documented in the report where Journalists who went to cover Jamia were assaulted physically. These assaulted journalists were from mainstream news channels, news agencies, international media and digital platforms. The assaulters included both the mob and the police.
This first phase lasted for five days from December 15 to December 20, 2019, although assaults continued nationwide for the whole month till the end of 2019. These 16 cases of nationwide assault in journalists covering anti-CAA protests were documented and released by CAAJ.
“The second phase of attack lasted much longer, almost for the whole month of January, 2020. On January 5, 2020 journalists were targeted outside Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, which was attacked on the same evening by a veiled mob. The number of cases reported in various media outlets and first-hand cases reported on twitter count to half a dozen. Those assaulted were also specifically targeted, stopped from coverage and directed/intimated by the mob,” read the CAAJ report
This phase reached its peak on the last day of January, 2020 when journalists were hounded, beaten up and detained at ITO and Rajghat. The numbers included more than ten, many of them senior scribes who were there to report Satyagraha March and pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. More than half a dozen journalists were detained until dark in a local stadium. Delhi Police was solely responsible for this assault. Press Club of India released a condemnation statement on the same day, said the report.
“The third phase is a dark chapter of horror in the history of Freedom of Press in Delhi that reminded many of the Emergency days. Around 18 cases were reported where journalists were not only stopped from coverage, but identified as Hindu/Muslims, ashamed publicly and beaten up by the rioting mob. There camera, equipment broken and vehicles burnt up by the mob. Many cases have gone unreported due to horror,” the report said.
“Mainstream media journalists from almost each and every banner recounted their ordeal on social media. Almost each and every media rights organisation condemned the assaults and raised a question on the complicity of police forces in not containing the ravaging mob.”
The entire report can be read here: