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Farm Law Protests: Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia Sent To 14 Day Judicial Custody

Sparsh Upadhyay
31 Jan 2021 12:05 PM GMT
Farm Law Protests: Freelance Journalist Mandeep Punia Sent To 14 Day Judicial Custody
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Freelance Journalist and contributor for the Caravan magazine, Mandeep Punia, who was detained yesterday from the Singhu border was presented before Court number 2 (Tihar Jail) by Delhi Police and the Metropolitan Magistrate Akhil Malik has sent him to 14-Day Judicial Custody. As per the media reports, Punia was detained by the Delhi Police yesterday for allegedly misbehaving with...

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Freelance Journalist and contributor for the Caravan magazine, Mandeep Punia, who was detained yesterday from the Singhu border was presented before Court number 2 (Tihar Jail) by Delhi Police and the Metropolitan Magistrate Akhil Malik has sent him to 14-Day Judicial Custody.

As per the media reports, Punia was detained by the Delhi Police yesterday for allegedly misbehaving with an official on duty at the protest site while he was covering the farmers' protest and subsequent clashes which took place at Singhu border.

It may be noted that another journalist, Dharmender Singh of Online News India, was also picked up by the police along with Punia, however, Singh was later on allowed to go after he showed his identity card.

As per the FIR lodged against Punia, he has been charged under Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

The FIR also states that he (along with others) wanted to make way to the Singhu protest site, & came in physical contact with a constable.

An unidentified officer told The Indian Express that "Punia was standing with the protesters and he didn't have a press ID card."

It was further stated by the officer that "he was trying to move through the barricades which were kept to segregate and secure the area. An altercation broke out between police personnel and him. He misbehaved... there was some manhandling as well. He was then detained."

His regular bail plea would come for hearing before the Rohini Courts tomorrow i.e., on 01st February 2021.

The Bail Application has been filed on behalf of Journalist Mandeep Punia through Advocates Sarim Naved, Akram Khan & Kamran Javed.

Averments in the Bail Plea

  • Punia was detained in the matter on 30th January.
  • No information was given to family members until late last night regarding his detention or possible arrest.
  • The Offences under Sections 186, 332, 353 r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code are not made out against him.
  • FIR registered at around 01:21 AM, despite him being allegedly part of a scuffle at around 06:40 PM the previous evening.
  • Punia was merely carrying out his journalistic duties and another Journalist was detained along with him but was released around midnight.
  • Accused is a freelance journalist and that is why he was not carrying a press cared, but this could be no ground to arrest him.
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