Pune police ACP transferred for assaulting journalist

Pune – Commissioner of Police Rashmi Shukla on Monday night transferred ACP Nilesh More from Wanavadi division to special branch. Now More will work with Foreigners Registration Office (FRO).

Earlier in the day, a group of journalists led by Pune Union of Working Journalists (PUWJ) president Shailesh Kale met Shukla and demanded strict action against him. Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe also raised the matter in ongoing legislative council session in Nagpur.

On Saturday, 24-year-old journalist Dnyanesh Bhukele of Marathi daily Loksatta was assaulted by More while on official assignment to cover a tribal students’ hostel strike in Manjri near Hadapsar.

Bhukele alleged that the ACP snatched his cellphone and threatened to destroy his career while dragging him to Hadapsar police station, where he was forced to sign an apology letter for asking questions in a wrong manner. Bhukele later submitted his statement to the police where he said: “ I had gone to the tribal students’ hostel run by the state government, to cover the hunger strike by the students pressing for their various demands. Project officer Ayush Prasad arrived at the programme for a discussion with the students. While Prasad was leaving, I asked him about the agitation. I was recording his answers on my phone. When Prasad saw this, he asked me to delete the recording. ACP More who was present there asked me delete the recording. I showed them my identity card and refused to delete it.”

The journalist said it was then that ACP More and the other policemen present at the spot physically dragged him to the police vehicle. “They beat me up and snatched my phone. I kept requesting them to give my phone back to me and showed them my bonafide press credentials , but they threatened to beat me again. While on the way to the police station, they slapped me and hit me hard on hand,” said Bukhele.

ACP Milind Patil of cyber cell has been given additional charge of Wanavadi division.