Photojournalist assault: One cop suspended
Six days after they attacked photographer on duty, ASI gets suspended and another gets extended probation
Home minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday ordered the suspension of Assistant Police Inspector Ghanashyam Borase and an extension of the probation period of Police Sub-Inspector Azim Sheikh over the manhandling of senior mid-day photojournalist Ashish Raje last week. The Mumbai police had initiated an inquiry in the matter following the incident and both officers were found guilty.
Deshmukh has also said that if more officers are found responsible, they will be punished, too.
Raje was attacked by cops at Mumbai Bagh, Nagpada on Thursday afternoon while he was there to take pictures of the ongoing protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC). When Raje was trying to enter the venue, officials asked him for an ID card. While the photojournalist was reaching his ID card, he continued to walk past the barricades as some women waited behind him to enter. That's when the cops began manhandling Raje, slapping and beating him with their batons.
The Mumbai Police has ordered another probe by the Additional Commissioner (Central region) Verresh Prabhu into the matter.
On Saturday, Prabhu took action against API Borase and probationary PSI Sheikh by transferring them to Central Region Control Room from Nagpada police station. The Bombay News Photographers Association (BNPA), however, unsatisfied with the action, demanded suspension of both cops.
Media groups meet minister
On Tuesday evening, BNPA, Mumbai Press Club, Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, TV Journalist Association and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh met Deshmukh along with Ashish Raje. Joint Commissioner (law and order) Vinay Choubey also attended the meeting. Members of all the associations expressed displeasure over the transfer action taken by Mumbai Police and demanded stricter punishment.
State Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, Joint Commissioner (law and order) Vinay Choubey met Ashish Raje (second from right) at the Mantralaya on Tuesday
Following the meeting, Deshmukh ordered the suspension of Borase and extension of the probation period of Sheikh. It was also brought to the notice of the minister that some officers had tried to brush the issue under the carpet by providing incorrect information to Senior Inspector Shalini Sharma.
Deshmukh said that an inquiry had been ordered by ACP (Tardeo division) to verify if more officers were responsible for the assault.
"The unfortunate incident could have been avoided if API Borase had handled it well. We understand that cops work under pressure, but they must use their mind while taking any action not just against the media but the common man, too," said Raje.
He added, 'One officer, in this case, being a probationary officer, should be sensitised on how to handle crowds to avoid such clashes in the future."
After Tuesday's meeting, Raje thanked the home minister for taking action against the cops.
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