Two journalists, Sandeep Kumar and Neeraj Bali, of News18 were attacked in Jalalabad in Punjab on July 30 while reporting on illegal sand mining. The News18 journalists after receiving a tip-off had gone to investigate illegal mining in the area where they were surrounded and attacked by a mob who damaged their video equipment. Both of them suffered head injuries. The police was unresponsive to their calls for about half an hour and took action only after the reporters went to seek police protection from the deputy superintendent.
Condemning the attack, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted: “Strongly condemn the unfortunate attack on the News18 team in Jalalabad. Have asked the Punjab Police DGP to take stern action and bring the culprits to justice immediately.” He added that police officials had registered a complaint and were investigating the matter.
The International Federation of Journalists issued a statement, saying: “The IFJ condemns the attack on News18 journalists in Jalalabad, Punjab in India. It’s unfortunate that journalists in India are not allowed to carry out their professional duties freely and in independent manner. The attack on journalists is an attempt to keep the media from reporting illegal activities and action should be immediately taken against the attackers.”