Lucknow journalist says cops illegally detained him, made communal slurs

Omar Rashid | Image posted on Omar's Facebook

A journalist and three women social activists were allegedly detained in Lucknow on Friday in connection with the ongoing protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but police officials denied making any such detention.

Journalist Omar Rashid of The Hindu claimed he was sitting at a restaurant with his friends when police in plain clothes picked him up labelling him as a "rioter".

"I told them that I am a journalist, showed them my identity card, and asked why were they taking me with them. They took away my phone and hurled abuses too," Rashid told PTI.

He said one of his friends, Robin Verma, was also taken into custody at Hazratganj police station. and he (Verma) was allegedly beaten with a belt by police.

"The police told me that I had orchestrated the Thursday protest against the CAA in the city and I will be booked for conspiring the episode," Rashid said.

He said later, they were taken to Sultanpuri police post and released after the intervention of the UP DGP O P Singh.

The scribe said that Circle Officer Hazratganj Abhay Kumar Mishra later came to see him and apologised for the "mistake in identity".

An official from Hazratganj police station denied any such detention.

PTI tried to contact Misra for his comments but he could not be reached immediately.

Meanwhile, Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey alleged that his wife Arundhati Dhuru and her two social activist friends were also detained briefly at the Hazratganj police station.

The official also denied this.

Pandey claimed, "They all had gone to see Rihai Manch president Shoib who was taken into custody following the CAA protests. The police told Arundhati, Meera Sanghamitra and Madhvi Kukreja that they were also involved in the Thursday violence and detained them. They were released in the night.

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