New Delhi: Less than 24 hours after Mandeep Punia, a freelance journalist based out of Delhi, was detained by Delhi Police from the Singhu border on late Saturday, support is pouring in from across the country.
Hours before his detention, Punia had posted a video on Facebook, giving a detailed account about the violence at Singhu border on Friday. The journalist spoke about how the group shouting anti-farmer slogans, who claimed to to be locals, had pelted stones at the protest site in full view of the police.
Soon after, the news broke about Punia’s detention and a video of him being dragged across the barricade went viral.
Hartosh Bal, the political editor of Caravan magazine posted on Twitter that Punia had spent the entire day trying to verify the truth behind the protest. “We’ve learnt Mandeep had spent the morning trying to track down those from BJP claiming to be ‘locals’ at Singhu,” Bal tweeted.
In an FIR filed in Alipur police station in the early hours of Sunday, Punia was charged under Sections 186, 353, 332 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. The sections pertain to obstructing public servants from discharging duty, causing hurt to public servants while discharging duty and endangering human life. Later, his bail plea was rejected and was sent to 14 days of judicial custody, the family of journalist confirmed after the court proceeding.
It might be noted that Punia, a freelance journalist, was arrested as he was not having a press card while covering the protests.
Support, however, continues to pour in for Mandeep Punia. A group of journalists also staged a protest against his arrest. Senior journalists Ravish Kumar, Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted in his favour.