New Delhi: Journalists covering the violence in Delhi are alleging that mobs backing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have been attacking them and preventing them from on-ground reporting.
A number of journalists told ThePrint that they were specifically targeted by those supporting the citizenship act.
“I was reporting from Maujpur metro station. I was reporting from a safe corner and I wasn’t alone,” Parvina Purkayastha, senior correspondent, Times Now told ThePrint. “I could see pro and anti-CAA protesters clashing… Suddenly, a group of pro-CAA protestors singled me out.”
“A group of 5 to 6 men came with wooden sticks and said maarenge (we’ll hit you),” she added. “I had to sit there and plead with them to not beat me and let me go.”
Purkayastha also tweeted about her ordeal.
Sir, I was attacked by pro CAA protestors for reporting facts. A group of men armed with sticks and bricks cornered me to hit me, I pleaded them and ran for my life
Not saying Anti-CAA protestors weren't in action but being a senior journalist how are blindly siding?
— Parvina Purkayastha (@Parv05) February 24, 2020
Shreya Chatterjee, former senior correspondent, News X, alleged that she was stopped from reporting on the ground in Maujpur.
She said that a mob supporting the citizenship act threatened to beat the group of journalists she was with.
“They were saying hinduon ki ladayi hai, humara saath dijiye, record mat kijiye, hum fass jayenge (This is the fight of the Hindus, support us and don’t record this, otherwise we will be in trouble),” Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee maintained that Danish Siddiqui from Reuters had also been injured while covering the clashes but Siddiqui refused to comment on the issue.
She too had tweeted on her ordeal.
Yes! I was on the ground where Pro-CAA protestors burned houses. Broke shops. Started pelting stones towards Anti-CAA protestors.
This was before Anti-CAA protestors reacted.
Reading your thread, I had to say it is far from the truth. Here in Maujpur since morning
— Sreya Chatterjee (@Sreya_Chattrjee) February 24, 2020
Attack on TV journalists
News channel Mirror Now says that there have been two separate attacks on TV news journalists in which at least one journalist has been shot at.
On CNN News 18, its report Journalists Heckled had reporter Runjhun say on the air that reporters’ mobiles were being seized, and footage erased. “They are not allowing us to cover (the violence)…,” Runjhun said.
Three NDTV journalists, Arvind Gunasekar, Saurabh Shukla and Mariyam Alavi, were among those attacked Tuesday, while cameraperson Sushil Rathee was also attacked.
“It is a very scary situation, we had to run for our lives,” said a reporter who did not wish to be named. “Journalists are being attacked and are being asked about their religion.”
Shantasree Sarkar of Republic tweeted Monday, alleging that when she was covering Bhajanpur, pro-CAA mobs were attacking men wearing skull caps and were chanting Jai Shri Ram.
I was reporting from Bhajanpura today. PRO CAA Protesters happily chanted #JaiShriRam and pelted stones, bricks. They were attacking every man wearing a skull cap. Is this the time to take sides and flare up the existing communal fissures?
— Shantasree Sarkar (@sarkarshanta) February 24, 2020
ThePrint reached out to Anil Mittal, PRO, Delhi Police, for a comment on the issue. Mittal, however, maintained that he didn’t have any information on the attack on journalists.