A senior journalist with a National English news channel on Wednesday alleged he was beaten up by policemen while reporting on lockdown in adjoining Thane district.
Uttkarsh Chaturvedi, deputy news editor with ET Now, a leading business news channel, said he showed his press card, but that did not stop men in uniform from hitting him with sticks. He said the incident took place near Dahisar Check Post in western suburbs which falls under the jurisdiction of the Thane Rural police.
The media has been exempted from restrictions put in place under the nationwide lockdown clamped to contain the spread of coronavirus. Police personnel have been patrolling the streets to enforce the lockdown. The incident came to light when Chaturvedi tweeted his ordeal and tagged the Mumbai police and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on their Twitter handles. He said, Was reporting on my bike ahead of Dahisar Check Naka where policemen before beating me with sticks before even asking. "Four five policemen kept hitting until I had to race my bike ahead. Showed them my press card as well.
In another post, the journalist said the SP of Thane Rural has been informed about the incident. Shivaji Rathod, the SP of Thane Rural, did not respond to phone calls and message sent in this regard.
The incident led to criticism of the police on Twitter.
And this is also happening. My colleague Uttkarsh faces police brutality as he goes to report. Media is a part essential services. "Our reportage gives people the true picture of action being taken in these extraordinary times @CMOMaharashtra," one of the Twitter user said.