New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India condemned the arrest and alleged torture of journalist Gaurav Bansal by police officers in Agra for reporting electoral malpractices in the recent assembly elections. In a statement released Monday, the Guild also demanded he be treated fairly by the state administration and released immediately.
The 39-year-old was arrested on 15 March and charged under penal laws for “obstructing a government officer from discharging his duty”. According to the complaint by a police officer, Bansal was accompanied by 10 to 15 people when he reached Mandi Samiti campus in Agra on 8 March and claimed EVMs were being replaced. He also allegedly misbehaved and injured a police personnel, while using “objectionable language”.
Bansal’s lawyer Adhar Sharma has denied all charges and claimed he was given “third degree torture and was humiliated by police in custody”. Sharma said the journalist was targeted for doing his job.
बाबा का बुल्डोज़र पत्रकारों पर ही चलने लगा। शासन प्रशासन पर सवाल उठने वाले आगरा के पत्रकार की क्या हालत कर दी है पुलिस ने https://t.co/RUSbHGq7Mv @dgpup @Uppolice @myogioffice @shalabhmani @AwasthiAwanishK @Editor__Sanjay @brajeshlive @pbhushan1 pic.twitter.com/kG8ZXP7Faa
— Yashwant Singh (@yashbhadas) March 17, 2022
Several local journalists and rights activists have accused police of “high-handedness and roughing up the accused”. They have also met senior administrative police officers to free Bansal.