Freelance journalist Mandeep Punia , arrested from the Singhu border by the Delhi Police has been sent to 14-day judicial custody. Punia's lawyer Sarim Naved told BOOM that the hearing in the case was supposed to take place at Rohini court but it was pre-poned and scheduled at Tihar court complex. The bail hearing in the case will take place February 1, said Naved.
Punia, along with another journalist Dharmendra Singh, was detained on the night of January 30 allegedly for misbehaving with police officials at the Singhu border. Social media has since then been abuzz with purported visuals of security personnel dressed in riot gear dragging Punia away from the barricades set up at the border. Singh was however released early in the morning of January 31.
An alumnus of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi, Punia has been freelancing with The Caravan and Junputh for the last one-and-half years. Dharmendra Singh, who was released at around 5.30 am on January 31, works with Online News India, a YouTube channel.
Why Was Punia Detained?
According to a report published in the Indian Express on January 31, Punia was detained allegedly for misbehaving with a Station House Officer at the Singhu border on January 30. According to the report, Punia was 'moving through road blocks and barricades when the alleged incident took place'.
Singhu border, where farmers from Punjab and Haryana have been protesting against the three Farm Laws since November 26, has been tense after violence unfolded there on January 29. A group of around 200 people who claimed to be locals had entered the protest site at Singhu amid heavy police deployment and clashed with the protesters.
Punia had meanwhile posted a Facebook live video on the incident with a Hindi caption translating to 'Who attacked the farmers yesterday...what was the role of Delhi police and what did media report'.
(Hindi: कल किसानों पर किसने हमला किया.. दिल्ली पुलिस का क्या रोल था और मीडिया ने क्या रिपोर्ट किया)
Punia's Facebook Live has been shared over 9000 times. In the video, Punia has made some serious allegations while identifying the people who had clashed with farmers at the protest site on January 29.
Hartosh Singh Bal, an editor at The Caravan, tweeted saying FIR against Punia has been filed under the sections 186, 332, 353 of Indian Penal Code.
Punia's arrest comes close at the heels of sedition cases filed against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Paresh Nath, Anant Nath, and Vinod K Jose. The FIRs have been filed against them for their allegedly misleading tweets over the death of a farmer during the tractor parade organised by protesting farmers on January 26. The violence that had taken place on the sidelines of the parade had taken in grip parts of Central Delhi as protesters marched inside Red Fort and hoisted a religious flag on its rampart.
Updated On: 2021-01-31T17:51:32+05:30