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Human rights body seeks report on assault of journalist in UP's Shamli

twitter-logoPTI | June 14, 2019 | Updated 20:00 IST

(Eds: Adding details, background) Lucknow, Jun 14 (PTI) Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Friday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh DGP, seeking a report within four weeks on the assault of a TV journalist in Shamli on Tuesday. The human rights body sought a detailed report from the DGP, including action taken against the guilty public servants and the status of the FIR registered against them, an NHRC press release said. In its notice, the NHRC said just a few hours after the Supreme Court ordered the release of a journalist, Amit Sharma was brutally assaulted by an SHO of the Government Railway Police (GRP). The victim has claimed that he was stripped and the SHO urinated in his mouth, the release said. The GRP has, however, denied this charge. The commission observed that the contents of media reports, if true, amount to a gross violation of the victim's human rights. "Going by the reported allegations, this kind of cruel and uncivilised act by a public servant is highly disgraceful and cannot be tolerated in a civilised society," the release read. "Stern action should be taken against the police personnel if found guilty so that such a barbaric act is not repeated by any public servant in future," the human rights body stated in the release. A case was against four police personnel, including SHO Rakesh Kumar, on Wednesday under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for causing hurt, insult, robbery and wrongful confinement. Of the four GRP officers, SHO Rakesh Kumar and constable Sanjay Pawar were suspended. The incident had taken place after the policemen entered into an argument with Sharma when he was covering the derailment of a goods train in Shamli on June 11. Sharma has alleged that he was thrashed by the GRP personnel and put in a lock-up. According to the media reports, carried on June 13, the SHO could be seen attacking the journalist in a video clip. Sharma had reportedly alleged that the police personnel attacked him out of vengeance as he had run a story about an encroachment by unauthorised vendors in connivance with GRP personnel last month. An FIR on the complaint of the journalist was registered and a departmental inquiry was ordered under the supervision of the IG, Railways. The Press Council of India too has set up a fact-finding committee to probe the incident. The fact-finding committee will visit Shamli Saturday to know details of the incident. The council has sought a reply from the chief secretary; director general of police; the Uttar Pradesh government; and the SSP (GRP), Shamli, in this regard. "The council expresses concern over such incident, which tends to undermine the freedom of press," the PCI said in a statement. PTI NAV SMI RDK RDK

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