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Amidst COVID-19 lockdown, GRP personnel assaults Reporter in Dimapur


Dimapur, May 8: A Government Railway Police Personnel (GRP) personnel physically assaulted a media person in Dimapur district of Nagaland on Friday.
The victim identified as Prasanjit Dutta, Reporter of Nagaland Page, who was on his way back home after covering a programme on Red Cross Day organized by Dimapur Red Cross at Holy Cross Auditorium here was slapped at least six times by police officer at Dimapur Railway Station foot-bridge.
In a statement, Dutta said at around 12 Noon on May 8, “I had reached the Dimapur Railway Station foot-over bridge to reach my home at Netaji Colony, near Railway Colony, after covering the programme”.
“With no barricades on the bridge from the Hanuman Mandir side, I decided to use it to reach home,” he said, adding that as he took the bridge towards the end, two officers stopped him and said the bridge was sealed.
On being asked, he did produce his identity card, Dutta said. After that on his request the two personnel directed him towards GRP personnel on duty on the bridge if they would permit him.
Nonetheless, as he approached the three GRP personnel seeking permission to cross towards the other side, one of them asked for his identity to which he complied.
However, Dutta said another officer “stood up in rage questioning me who told me to use the platform”. The officer started leading me back to the railway bridge and questioned if the two police officers on the bridge asked me to do so, he said.
Dutta reportedly explained that they didn’t and that they said the station was sealed and so was the bridge. He tried to explain that he was just there to ask if he could use the platform to cross over for which he approached them but was not trying to use the platform without permission.
However, the GRP personnel continued to assault the local Reporter repeatedly despite his effort to make an explanation.
Amidst the slapping, Dutta said the GRP personnel questioned “if I was a Muslim”, to which he said that he is a Bengali.
“He slapped me again and said whoever I might be, it was not my state and if I wanted to spread the virus, I should go to my own state and try it,” said Dutta. “I was slapped at least six times,” he said.
It may be mentioned here that as per the Indian Penal Code Section 295A prevents deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious belief.
“Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both,” says the Act.
The victim explained that as he picked his spectacles which had fallen on the ground following the continued slaps on his face, the GRP personnel shouted at him to go to the ‘thana’.
One of the three officers, who had checked his identity card and was standing quietly, then led him out of the platform instead of taking him to the thana, Dutta said, adding that he also tried to show some compassion by enquiring if the spectacles had broken, and fortunately it had not. The first GRP personnel also apologized on behalf of the assaulting officer as he escorted him outside the platform through the ticket counter.
(Page News Service)