After three days of protests by the journalism fraternity — both online and offline — against the Delhi Police manhandling them and snatching their equipment, the Delhi Police has finally booked Station House Officer, Vidyadhar Singh, on Monday, reports Scroll. A woman journalist covering the JNU long march had alleged that Singh pushed her and put his hand on her chest, interrupting her work.

Singh is SHO of Delhi Cantonment police station but was put on special duty on March 23 at the INA market area through which the JNU protesters marched on.

Apart from the SHO, the Delhi Police has also filed complaints against 22 JNU students, both identified and unidentified, who participated in the protest. These charges include rioting, assaulting public servants and others.

The JNU student’s Union has also lodged a complaint against police officers who brutally beat up students and launched water cannons on the protesters. The union also accused police of particularly targeting women protesters and groping them and tearing their clothes.

The Delhi Police initially tried to bury the allegations by releasing an apology on Twitter. They said they thought the journalists were part of the protest

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On Friday last week, the JNUSU and JNU Teachers’ Association had organised a march to protest against compulsory attendance row, academic freedom, sexual harassment by professors etc. But in the middle of the demonstration, the police intervened and halted the march by lathicharging them and throwing water cannons. They didn’t just beat up the students but also the journalists covering the protest and confiscated their equipment. A video of two journalists becoming a part of police brutality went viral on social media.

The Delhi Police initially tried to bury the allegations by saying that they thought that journalists were part of the protest and releasing an apology on Twitter. However, this did not silence journalists who demanded suspension of the accused SHO.

On Sunday, the Delhi Police also suspended a female constable and a male head constable for “unprofessional conduct” after the journalists accused them of snatching their cameras during the march.

More Stories by Poorvi Gupta

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