Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav’s security guards allegedly manhandled reporters at a press conference in Moradabad on Thursday, after they got close to the politician’s security cover.
A video of the incident circulating on social media showed Yadav making his way through the crowd after the press conference as his security guards push away the reporters who reportedly tried to breach the security cover to get close to the SP chief.
Yadav is heard in the video telling journalists, “Don’t work for the BJP. Go from here,” the Indian Express . A reporter for News18, Faizan Shamsi, tries to push closer to ask his questions and the security guards stop him, causing him to fall.
Amit Kumar Anand, Moradabad ASP, told the daily that the police were examining CCTV footage of the incident. “When the former CM was leaving after the press conference, some journalists came too close to the security cover leading to the chaos. The incident happened at a hotel under the Pakwarha police station,” he added. Anand also said the police had not received a complaint regarding the incident until Thursday evening.
In another video circulating on social media, Shamsi is purportedly heard saying he was beaten up by the security guards, pushed and hit with a rifle. He adds that Yadav blamed him for intentionally asking certain kind of questions. The reporter alleged that the security personnel assaulted reporters from other TV news channels as well.
“Some ended up with their mobiles smashed, while some cameras were broken too. I have sprained my leg, and am going to the doctor,” he is heard saying in the video, according to the Express.
In the aftermath of the incident, a twitter battle played out between the SP and opposition over who started the scuffle.
SP spokesperson Juhie Singh accused the reporters of being “actors” who pushed towards the politician as a way of “bullying”.
Ajay Kumar Lallu of the Congress tweeted a video showing Shamsi lying on the ground and fellow reporters and security personnel trying to pick him up.