‘They would have lynched Shahid’: Kashmiri photojournalist among Caravan reporters attacked by mob in Delhi
Shahid Tantray (R) and Prabhjit Singh (Source: The Wire)
Three journalists from ‘The Caravan’ magazine were physically assaulted by unidentified people in North East Delhi on Tuesday.
The trio include Shahid Tantray, assistant photo editor at Caravan magazine, Prabhjit Singh, a contributor to the magazine and a third staffer, a woman, who the magazine said was even sexually assaulted.
In a statement released on Twitter late Tuesday by ‘The Caravan’, the magazine said that police was yet to file an FIR in the case despite the reporters filing detailed complaints.
The three were reporting on communal tensions that broke out in the area on the night of August 5, following the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
A group celebrating the Ram temple event had allegedly shouted anti-Muslim slogans and placed saffron flags on the gates of Subhash Mohalla that day.
In the statement, ‘The Caravan’ said that a group of people physically assaulted the reporters, threatened to kill them and used communal slurs.
“One among them, dressed in a saffron kurta, claimed he was the “BJP general secretary,” they added.
The statement said that upon learning Tantray’s name, the attackers, including the man who claimed he was from the BJP, beat him and used communal slurs against him. “They threatened to kill him,” it added.
“Local police personnel subsequently managed to take the staffers to the nearby Bhajanpura station. In his complaint, @Prabhtalks wrote that were he not present, “the mob led by that saffron-clad man would have lynched Shahid for his Muslim identity,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the third staffer, a woman, was sexually harassed and physically assaulted, The Caravan said. “After the mob began attacking her, Tantaray and Prabhjit Singh, she managed to extricate herself and escape to a neighbouring gully,” they added.
However, young men surrounded her in the alley and allegedly took her pictures and videos without consent, and verbally harassed her. A middle-aged man allegedly exposed his genitals and made lewd facial expressions at her.
“As the woman staffer ran and attempted to reach the Bhajanpura station, the mob attacked her again,” the statement added. “The attackers beat her on her head, arms, hips and chest. The man in the saffron kurta was among them, as were two women.”
On Tuesday night, the magazine’s political editor Hartosh Singh Bal said that despite two detailed complaints filed by the reporters, no FIR has been registered by the police in the case so far.