5 UP officials booked for thrashing ANI reporter over ‘assault video’

ANI is yet to issue a statement. An FIR named five officials.

WrittenBy:Basant Kumar
A picture of journalist Ravi Gupta.

ANI reporter Ravi Gupta was allegedly assaulted by Meerut Development Authority officials in Meerut on Monday. 

A video circulating on social media showed the reporter being manhandled, pushed to the ground and thrashed. Gupta claimed that he was assaulted for reportedly “making a video” of the officials, who were beating another man. In the viral video, he is seen iterating that he is a “journalist” as the officials assault him. Gupta alleged that his mobile phone was also snatched and  broken.  

As the video triggered outrage on social media, a case was registered at the Civil Lines police station under sections 147 (rioting), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC. The Meerut police tweeted that the accused have been identified and “necessary legal action” was being taken.

The FIR has named MDA officials Hukum Singh, Mahraj Singh, Anil, Pankaj, Balraj as accused, along with 10 unidentified persons.  

Newslaundry reached out to investigating officer inspector Bhim Prakash, but he disconnected the call as soon as he heard the question about the assault. District information officer Sumit Yadav said he has taken note of the incident.

On the other person who was allegedly assaulted by the MDA officials, SHO Mahesh Rathore said the investigation is still underway   

However, ANI is yet to issue a statement. 

Meanwhile, Gupta alleged that he is being pressured to not proceed with legal action and strike a compromise with the accused. “FIR has been lodged under weak sections. The accused robbed my phone and tried to destroy evidence. But no action has been taken yet. Instead of arresting or taking action, the administration is trying to reach a compromise.”

The FIR alleged that Gupta was on his way to the SSP office, when he saw the crowd assaulting a man near the MDA office, and began recording the incident. But soon the men turned to Gupta, abused him and began assaulting him, it claimed.   

It quoted the accused as saying that “these journalists poke their nose everywhere” and that “today, we will teach him a lesson”.

According to the FIR, as the men dragged Gupta and one of them tried to allegedly “suffocate him, to kill him”, employees of the information department came to his rescue. The MDA officials then allegedly warned Gupta that “if he is seen near their office again, he would be killed”. 

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