By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter
Three journalists from Delhi were arrested yesterday in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, after they tried to report on a Bajrang Dal’s weapons training camp, which was being operated in the same area.
Anupam Pandey, Asad Ashraf and Vijay Pandey were detained without any proper explanation and were made to sit in the Hanumangarh Junction police station for hours. The journalists have alleged that police has also misbehaved with them.
The three journalists got a lead earlier that Bajrang Dal, a radical Hindu outift famous for carrying out violence in Public and for its role in Gujarat riots, is running a training camp on weapons operations in Hanumangarh. The journalists headed to the area and started interviewing the trainers and association leaders.
When they finished getting the most crucial part, which is the testimonies, for the story, the people at the training camp started becoming suspicious. They stopped the journalists from leaving and called the Police.
Police from Hanumangarh junction police station reached the hotel where journalists were staying and asked the journalists to come up to Police station, the request to which journalists complied. As the journalists report, Police hurled abusive words at them. When journalists answered the police’s questions about purpose of their visit, they were told that they would have come after talking with PRO of Police administration.
In a testimony published on ‘Democracia‘, Asad Ashraf, wrote, “Police came in civil dresses and we were not told of any reason for our arrest or detention. When I called my friends and colleagues from the police custody, my phone was taken away. But by then politicians, journalists and human rights activists have already started calling them (Police) and that helped us in getting released.”
Moreover, photojournalist Vijay Pandey and Anupam Pandey told their real name to the Bajrang Dal members, while Asad Ashraf hid his real name to be safe of any kind of possible violence, as Rajasthan recently faced a dark episode of Pehlu Khan’s lynching.
Journalists have claimed that the they have gathered enough proof of Bajrang Dal arming and giving training of firearms in Hanumangarh area. They gathered the story’s key points after taking Bajran Dal goons in their confidence, but they became suspicious about the time when the journalists were about to leave to Delhi.