Press Council of India Condemns Police Misbehavior, Calls for Action in Pune Journalist Incident

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Tikam Shekhawat

Pune, 27th January 2024: The Press Council of India (PCI), represented by its member Parag Karandikar, a Senior Journalist and Group Editor of Maharashtra Times, has taken note of a recent incident involving misbehaviour by Pune City Police personnel towards a reporter and cameraman from Pudhari News channel. The PCI has formally requested Pune City Police Commissioner Retesh Kumaarr to take appropriate action against the police officers involved in this regrettable incident.

In its letter addressed to the Pune Police Commissioner, the PCI underscores the incident that occurred on January 26, 2024. During the coverage of a protest, Pudhari reporter Dyaneshwar Choutamal and cameraman Nikhil Karandikar were obstructed by the police in the course of their routine journalistic duties. The authorities specifically prevented them from recording video footage and reporting the news, insisting on the need for permission from their superiors. When the journalists contested this restriction, they faced threats of legal action. Tensions escalated when officials from Chaturshingi police station forcibly seized the journalist’s video camera and confiscated the memory cards. The cameraman was allegedly compelled into a police van, while reporter Dnyaneshwar Choutamal was physically pulled away after his microphone was confiscated.

The PCI has labeled this police action as highly shocking and contradictory to the constitutional rights of journalists. The letter goes on to characterize the incident as an unwarranted action by Pune Police personnel.

Parag Karandikar, in the letter, has urged the Police Commissioner to conduct a detailed inquiry, and subsequently order necessary action against the police officers involved in this incident.

The letter is copied to Maharashtra State CM, Eknath Shinde and Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis.