Shivajinagar, 26th January 2024: In a shocking incident today, a journalist was violently accosted by Chatushring police officers while covering protest in Gokhalenagar, Pune.
The journalist, Dnyaneshwar Choutmal from Pudhari newspaper, attempting to document the ongoing protest by Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar, had his camera forcefully seized, and he was forcibly dragged into a police van. Furthermore, his mobile phones were confiscated and damaged.
The incident, which has sparked outrage, has drawn condemnation from the Pune Union of Working Journalist (PUWJ). In a statement, PUWJ expressed deep concern over the brazen actions of the police. The PUWJ emphasized that the journalist was targeted specifically for covering the protest, with their equipment seized and personal belongings destroyed.
“Today’s incident raises serious questions about press freedom and the safety of journalists in our city. Journalists play a crucial role as watchdogs of society, and any attempt to stifle their voices is a direct attack on democracy,” remarked PUWJ president Pandurang Sandbhor.
He further said, “Pune Police Commissioner has assured of action against the erring officials.”
The union called for immediate action and accountability, urging authorities to investigate the incident thoroughly. They highlighted the need to protect journalists who, in their pursuit of truth, often find themselves at the forefront of events that shape public discourse.
In response to the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis have been urged to address the matter urgently. The PUWJ has declared its strong opposition to such blatant attacks on press freedom and pledged to raise awareness about the incident, demanding justice for the journalist involved.