The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested a freelance journalist Mandeep Punia, alleging that he misbehaved with a station house officer (SHO) at the Singhu border amidst the ongoing protest.
Another journalist, Dharmender Singh, was also briefly picked up and later let go after he showed his press ID, police said.
The incident happened on Saturday.
The police said that Punia was jumping the roadblocks and barricades when the alleged incident took place.
After the arrest, netizens started criticising the Delhi Police for “suppressing the press”. Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar on Twitter also joined netizens.
“Upsetting n stifling to see REAL n hardworking journalists just disappear..where r those heavy weight leaders/ministers who took time n efforts to tweet about #freedofpress while #Arnab was questioned Thinking face #ReleaseMandeepPunia Where is #MandeepPunia (sic),” tweeted Matondkar.
“Mandeep has been booked under sections 186 IPC (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 353 IPC (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty). The case is registered at the Alipur police station,” said a senior police officer.
Punia will be produced in the court later in the day.
Meanwhile, heightened security deployment has continued at the Singhu border (Delhi-Haryana border) as farmers’ protest against three agriculture laws entered the 67th day on Sunday. The next round of talks between the farmers and the Centre is scheduled for February 2.
While the protest at Ghazipur border by the farmers (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border) has entered Day 65. Security has been beefed up as more farmers are coming to the protest site for the past two-three days.
“Government is changing the goal-post. It is a bad thing. They are not taking any decision. The government should repeal the laws. It will be better for the farmers and the government,” Shyam, a protesting farmer at Ghazipur border told ANI.
(With inputs from agencies)