After a video surfaced showing Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel mercilessly beating up Amit Sharma in Shamli on Tuesday, the journalist claimed he was targetted by GRP personnel for "exposing" their illegal activity.
Speaking to ANI, Sharma alleged that GRP personnel were involved in a vending business in passenger trains which is prohibited throughout India by the Centre. He covered the story and his organisation flashed the story in a messaging group which, according to him, made government officials angry. The story became a big topic of discussion in the city, he claimed.
Sharma said he met Station House Officer of Railway Protection Force (RPF) regarding the story and later, the contractor of the vendors, Nafees, was arrested. Soon after, he claimed he was offered a bribe by the GRP personnel involved in the matter, which he refused.
"On June 11, a Delhi-Saharanpur cargo train was derailed and I had gone to cover the whole incident and several other journalists were also present there. An altercation occurred between the journalists present and the GRP personnel who were dressed in plain clothes. During this altercation, the railway police personnel tried to grab my camera which fell off and then they slapped me. When I confronted the personnel on this, I was beaten mercilessly as you can see in the video," the scribe said.
Recalling the horror, he added, "I was then taken into the police station, again beaten up and the SHO (GRP) urinated on me. I tried to escape from their grasp but they got hold of me and I was held at gunpoint. I am ashamed to even talk about the treatment meted out to me by the GRP."
The journalist's father, Vidyasagar Sharma, has demanded maximum punishment from the authorities. "This is a very painful incident and the aggressors should get the sternest of punishment," he added.
The incident occurred a day after the Supreme Court ordered the release of journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was jailed for three days by the Uttar Pradesh police for posting "derogatory" content against UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The same day, state police sprang to action and tweeted, "We have come across a video where a journalist has been beaten up & put up in a lock up. DGP UP OP Singh has ordered for immediate suspension of SHO GRP Shamli Rakesh Kumar & Const. Sanjay Pawar. Strict punishment shall be accorded to policemen misbehaving with citizens.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)