Farmers' Protest: Journalist Mandeep Punia sent to 14-day judicial custody
Journalist Mandeep Punia was detained by the police on Saturday from the Delhi-Haryana Singhu border and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Punia, who is a freelance journalist and a contributor for The Caravan magazine, was detained for allegedly misbehaving with police officers while covering the farmers' protest. The Singhu border is the most prominent site of the months-long farmers' protest. Here are more details.
Punia was produced before court number 2 (Tihar Jail) and sent to 14-day judicial custody, LiveLaw reported. He has been charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) read with Section 34.
According to an FIR, Punia wanted to make his way to the Singhu protest site and came in physical contact with a constable. An unidentified officer told The Indian Express, "He was trying to move through the barricades which were kept to segregate and secure the area. An altercation broke out between police personnel and him. He misbehaved...there was some manhandling as well."
The officer also said, "Punia was standing with the protesters and he didn't have a press ID card." Another journalist—Dharmender Singh of Online News India—was also picked up by cops with Punia. However, he was allowed to go after he showed his identity card.
Punia's bail plea will be heard before the Rohini Courts on Monday. Reportedly, the plea states that no information was given to Punia's family members until late last night regarding his detention. It also argues that offenses under Sections 186, 332, 353 read with Section 34 of the IPC are not made out. Punia was merely carrying out his journalistic duties, it states.