The Hoot: Media Freedom Tracker Jan 1- April 30, 2018
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Alleged Perpetrators/
Official Agencies
Case Status
1DeathsMarch 26, 2018
Two Bihar journalists killed as SUV rams bike
Bhojpur, Bihar
Two Dainik Bhaskar journalists, Navin Nishchal and Vijay Singh, werekilled when their bike was hit by an SUV, in Bhojpur, near Patna. Their families allege that the SUV was driven by a village mukhiya, Mohammad Harsu. They filed FIR s against Mr. Harsu and his son, among others. The SUV was torched (allegedly by the accused, to remove evidence) and a protest was later staged on the highway.
Mohammad Harsu, Village Mukhiya
Police take Harsu into custody, investigating whether it is an accident or a crime; NHRC takes suo moto note of media reports and launches an enquiry.
2DeathsMarch 27, 2018
Journalist Sandeep Sharma run over by truck
Bhind, Madhya Pradesh
Sandeep Sharma, a television reporter who had done a sting operation on a sand mining mafia in Bhind, was mowed down by a truck on March 26. Police are examining CCTV footage of the killing. The driver absconded.
Sand mining mafia
Driver of truck, Ranvir Singh Yadav, arrested; Madhya Pradesh govt announce an SIT to probe the crime; CM recommends a CBI investigation. (more details:
AttacksJan 1, 2018
Protesters snatch reporter's camera, insist he stop recording
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Republic TV reporter Shravan Sen was covering a clash in Kurla Chembur junction when suddenly protesters snatched his camera and phone and insisted he shut his camera and stop videographing the violence immediately. The screen blacked out and only the audio could be heard. He was covering the violence that broke out in Mumbai this afternoon, sparked by reports of the death of a youth in violence in Pune yesterday in the wake of the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle. While the affilation of the protestors was not immediately discernible, other visuals showed bands of saffron-clad youth waving flags and using flag-posts as sticks to beat people and smash vehicles. (The Hoot)
Unidentified Protesters, sporting saffron bands
No complaint lodged
1AttacksJan 7, 2018
Reporter attacked, advised not to complain
Ahmedabad, Gujarat
A Facebook post by Damayantee Dhar who reports for The Wire records an attack on herself and another reporter from the Ahmedabad Mirror on January 7 by a "mob of 15-20 dalit men" headed by Keval Rathod. She says the two of them, were heckled, manhandled and had their press cards and mobile phones snatched and the recording she was doing deleted. She says she was advised by "Leftist activists and editors" to let the attack go and not file a complaint against dalits as it would "go against the movement." She was investigating a story of alleged caste discrimination in a medical college. Eventually she did write to the Police Commissioner at Ahmedabad and her complaint was acted upon.
Keval Rathod, advocate/dalit activist, from Una
Keval Rathod allegedly made to apologise at the police station. No further action has been taken.
2AttacksJan 23, 2018
Timber mafia attack journalist
Athiabari, Meghalaya
A Meghalaya-based journalist was injured and his camera and mobile phone snatched when suspected timber smugglers assaulted him on the night of January 23. Biplab Dey, 37, a freelance journalist who reports for Assam Tribune and other papers in Shillong from Garo Hills in the state’s western region, was on the trail of smugglers when he was assaulted around 10.30 pm in Athiabari, West Khasi Hills district. Dey and his driver Dipen Rabha received injuries on the chest, hands, legs and back. “We were kicked and thrashed with sticks by a mob of about 25 people,” said Dey, who was following the smugglers in order to collect evidence of illegal transportation of timber from the Garo Hills to Assam. The culprits took away his camera, mobile phone and laptop to destroy evidence.
Timber Gang
PCI sought report from Meghalaya govt on the assault
3AttacksJanuary 31, 2018Journalist assaulted by mobMeerut, UP
Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut was tense after a mob of Hindu Yuva Vahini activists on Tuesday allegedly beat up some Muslim men who reportedly had harassed a girl, The Times of India reported. The mob also allegedly attacked a journalist who was covering the incident. The state is already on edge after communal clashes broke out on Republic Day in Kasganj, which is around 200 km from Meerut. After the journalist filed a complaint, the police detained Hindu Yuva Vahini state secretary Nagendra Tomar. Several other members of the group who were also involved in the incident were detained, according to a report in Amar Ujala.
Hindu Yuva Vahini activists
Police detain Hindu Yuva Vahini state secretary Nagendra Tomar. Others arrested and booked under various charges, including Section 307 (attempt to murder), of the Indian Penal Code are Vaibhav Singh, 24, and Neeraj Dixit, 25.
4AttacksFeb 14, 2018
Journalists assaulted by Hindu Samhati Workers in Kolkata
Kolkata, West Bengal
Senior journalist Navalkant Sinha was chased and beaten up on Friday night by the two and threatened with more attacks.
Hindu Samhati Workers
Tapan Ghosh and the three arrested were granted bail the next day, Thursday, February 15.
5AttacksFeb 22, 2018
Payment scuffle, hostel management attack student and mediapersons
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
Due to a payment issue, Ms. Srilatha, her husband and five other men reportedly incited a brawl with the students residing at Chalapati Hostel. This happened after she allegedly beat up a student after tying him up, and the police refused to register a complaint. The brawl took place on the road, in front of the Penamuluru police station. Journalists of a news channel who went to cover the incident were allegedly assaulted by the hostel management, and a camera was damaged. Journalists in Vijayawada staged a protest in front of the police station demanding action. The accused were then arrested and taken for questioning.
Owners of private hostel, alleged links to local BJP
The students and the management later came to an understanding and approached the police to withdraw their complaint. A case was registered against Sai Prasad, Srilatha’s husband and his men under Section 307 of IPC based on the complaint lodged by the mediapersons.
6AttacksMarch 10, 2018
Assam police thrashes Mizo journalists
Assam-Mizoram border area in Kachurthal
Assam police lathi-charged journalists during a protest by Mizo students at the Assam-Mizoram border area in Kachurthal on Saturday. Police paid no heed to the journalists' protestations that they were covering the protest. Emmy Lawbei, journalist with a television channel was mercilessly beaten up by the police though she showed her identity card to them.
Assam police
Lawbie files FIR against police; no arrests
7AttacksMarch 24, 2018
Delhi Police Officer Molests Female Journalist, DCP Invites Protesting Scribes to Coffee
New Delhi
Latest in the series of sexual harassment allegations against the Delhi Police is by journalists who were covering a protest organised by the students of JNU on March 23, 2018. The police resorted to a baton charge against the protesters. Then an inspector allegedly approached a woman journalist and pushed her. Even after being notified that she was a journalist, he allegedly groped her and pushed her away. The cop denied allegations. The DCP later apologised for the "mistake" and invited the journalists protesting this incident for coffee, to discuss corrective and corrective measures.
Inspector Vidyadhar Singh, Delhi Police
8AttacksMarch 25, 2018
Kerala journalist allegedly assaulted by police
Malappuram, Kerala
A local reporter with ‘Suprabhatham’ daily, N C Shareef, was allegedly locked up and assaulted by the Areekode police on March 25, after he attempted to click a photograph of a flex board kept at the police station, confiscated from anti GAIL protesters. He had come to the station to collect information about the protest. Shareef was released following the intervention of Malappuram district police chief Debesh Kumar Behera and was admitted to the Manjeri Government Medical College. The police claim they did not know that he was a reporter.
Kerala Police
9AttacksApril 1, 2018
TV journalist severely injured
Khowai District, Tripura
Anup Debbarma, a television journalist was reportedly assaulted by a BJP worker in the Khowai district of Tripura. The wife of the journalist accuses Sudip Debbarma, a resident of a nearby locality. According to her complaint, he had allegedly threatened the journalist and even vandalised their house in the past. The journalist is currently under treatment at Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital. The police have launched a search operation to track the accused
BJP worker
Accused is absconding
11AttacksApril 9, 2018
Photojournalist Covering Bengal Panchayat Poll Violence Alleges Assault by TMC Goons, Mamata Denies
Alipore, West Bengal
Photojournalist Diplab Mondal alleged that he was abducted, threatened and assaulted by TMC workers on April 9. Mondal was covering the violence that occured during the filing of nominations for the panchayat elections at Alipore. Following this, the media in Kolkata came together to organise a protest rally and demand higher security for mediapersons. The Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee denied allegations and said that the incident was fabricated propaganda of a certain media house.
TMC workers
12AttacksApril 17, 2018
Petrol bomb attack on Shillong TImes editor
Umpling, Meghalya
April 17, evening, two unidentified people on a bike threw a petrol bomb at the residence of Patricia Mukhim, the editor of Shillong Times. Though Ms. Mukhim was in her house at the time, she wasn't injured by the attack and there was negligible damage to property. The police have registered a case but no arrests have been made
Unidentified Assailants
13AttacksApril 20, 2018

TMC workers assault journalists.
Siliguri, West Bengal
Trinamool Congress workers allegedly assaulted some journalists in Siliguri on Friday.The incident took place in Siliguri's Chayan Para area.In the evening, Trinamool Congress workers assaulted the journalists when they went to Chayanpara in Siliguri after receiving information about a scuffle between workers from TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).The TMC workers hurled abuses and pushed the journalists, including an ANI reporter.TMC workers assault journalists.
TMC workers
Jan 21, 2018
Online journalists arrested in Kerala
Ernakulum, Kerala
Kerala police arrested two journalists - Abhilash Padachery and Ananthu Rajagopal-Asha on Sunday Jan 21, when they were shooting a Facebook live video of protests following the demolition of a 'caste' wall in Ernakulum district for, an online news channel. The police claimed they were instigating the protestors and had no identity cards. 7 dalit men were also arrested.
Kerala Police
The two journalists were granted bail on Wednesday. URL:
Feb 14, 2018
Two foreign journos in custody for trespassing on campus
Ernakulum, Kerala
The city police on Wednesday picked up two foreign journalists on charges of trespass and filming without accreditation. The police said that Alban Alvarez, a French national who works as a correspondent for the French news channel FRANCE24 in India, and Derek Mac Donald, a British national, were taken into custody from the Government Law College, Ernakulam, in the morning. After a preliminary round of interrogation, the duo was handed over to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Kochi, for further action.
Kerala Police
They had been produced before the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Kochi, and were granted a conditional release upon tendering apology. “Before being released, they were made to delete the footage shot from the college. Students protested moral policing by the college authorities.
Feb 19, 2018
Goan journalist detained for ‘fake news’ regarding Manohar Parrikar’s health
Panaji, Goa
The Goa Police has detained local journalist, Harish Volvoikar, over a false news item about the health condition of CM Mohanhar Parrikar, who is being treated for pancreatic ailment at the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai since 15 February. cartoon to express her views and it was within her fundamental rights. Hindu Sanghatan
Goa Police
April 28, 2018
25-year-old arrested for posting inappropriate cartoon featuring Narendra Modi on Facebook
The local police in Assam have arrested a 25-year-old man for featuring President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra inappropriately. The police made the arrest after the caricature became viral on social media giant Facebook page that was in the name of Jarir Ahmed Barbhuiya. Reportedly, the accused hails from Cachar district of Barak Valley in Assam. Speaking to media, the district’s Superintendent of Police Rakesh Roushan said Barbhuiya had posted the cartoons 4 days ago. “They featured the President, PM, CJI and others”.
Assam police
1ThreatsJan 17, 2018
Tribal journalist threatened in Chhattisgarh
Dantewada, Chhattisgarh
A tribal journalist in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district has alleged he was threatened by the personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force and that he is being harassed for raising issues of molestation and atrocities by security forces in the Bastar region, a charge denied by the CRPF. Lingaram Kodopi said he was returning from his village, Sameli, in the evening on Sunday on his motorcycle when he was stopped by some soldiers of the paramilitary force at a checkpoint.
Kodopi lodged a complaint against the CRPF personnel with Dantewada’s superintendent of police Kamalochan Kashyap,
2ThreatsJan 30, 2018
ABP News editor receives death threats for exposing truth of Kasganj violence
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
ABP News editor Pankaj Jha has received death threats and threats to abduct his daughter for covering Kasganj violence. He stated this on his Twitter account. He tweeted, ‘Since morning, some people have been calling to abuse me, issue death threats, threatening to abduct my daughter…These people are asking whether one needs permission in the country even to take out a ‘Tiranga Yatra’. But this is what the Kasganj DM had said, so the question should be asked to him.’
unidentified persons
3ThreatsFeb 6, 2018
TNIE reporter, lensman abused by ‘Vadayampadi temple office-bearers’
Kochi, Kerala
The New Indian Express team that went to Vadayampadi on Monday to report on the ‘caste wall’ issue was threatened and abused by a group of men claiming to be officials of the Vadayampadi Bhajana Madam Devi Temple, which has come under the scanner for erecting the wall. Gopika I S, trainee reporter, and K Shijith, principal photographer, were on an assignment to cover the tension between the Dalit Bhoo Samrakshana Avakasha Samithi and the temple committee from the ground following the order by the Ernakulam collector on Saturday to maintain status quo.
Vadayampadi Bhajana Madam Devi Temple office bearers
4ThreatsFeb 6, 2018
Kerala Police Arrest 7 Sangh Parivar Workers For 'Threatening' Malayalam Poet Sreekumar
Kottukal, Kerala
Poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar was verbally abused and mobbed allegedly by RSS activists, while on his way back from an event organized by a local library at Kottukal.
RSS workers
Seven RSS workers arrested
5ThreatsApril 17, 2018
Cartoonist gets death threats and a case registered against her
Hyderabad, Telangana
Cartoonist Swathi Vadlamudi received deaths threats on Facebook after her cartoon, posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, depicting Ram and Sita in the wake of violence against women, went viral. A complaint by the Hindu Sanghatan, an ultra-Hindu right group, was lodged under Sec 295 (Intent to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC at Saidabad police station in Hyderabad. Ms. Vadlamudi insists that she had chosen the cartoon to express her views and it was within her fundamental rights.
Hindu Sanghatan
1HarassmentApril 18,2018
TN Governor: Patronising and insulting
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
The woman journalist, who works with TheWeek, recalled the encounter on Twitter: "I asked TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly - and without consent - pat me on the cheek as a reply." Calling it unprofessional behavior, the journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, said it was completely uncalled for to touch a stranger without consent.
Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu
The governer wrote a letter apologising; Journalist accepted the apology but recorded that she was not convinced by it; a day after the apology BJP leader shares FB post defending the Governer and abusing women journalists. URL:
Harassment (online)
Feb 1, 2018
Cyber abuse of journalist:one arrested
Kochi, Kerala
One person has been arrested based on a complaint filed by journalist Shani Prabhakaran again...
P V Vysakh of Nandanam, Poovappadam, Aluva...and three others arrested
Harassment (online)
Feb 5, 2018
Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai files police complaint against lawyer Prashant Patel for ‘blatantly fake inciting tweets’
Rajdeep Sardesai has filed a police complaint in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi against a lawyer, identified as Prashant Patel, for posting ‘blatantly fake and inciting tweets’ attributing them to the veteran journalist.
Lawyer Prashant Patel
Harassment (online)
April 25, 2018
Online vilification of journalist Rana Ayyub;
Since Sunday, multiple parody accounts have shared fake news attributed to her and morphed videos with her face have also been widely shared.
Annonymous personspolice complaint filed
Development in old case
1AttacksMarch 27, 2018
Delhi Police chief sits on inquiry report of Ramjas College journalist attack case
New Delhi
February 2017, protests were staged outside Ramjas College, during which several journalists were brutally attacked by the police, under the watch of Deputy Commissioner of Police Jatin Narwal. An investigation was launched by the Delhi Police Special Investigation Team (SIT). This investigation, it was recently discovered, has already been completed and the report has been sitting with The Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik. No action based on the report has been taken so far. According to sources within the crime branch (DNA reports), the policemen involved have been given a clean chit.
Delhi Police
Unconfirmed cases/ deaths and attacks
DeathsFeb 18, 2018
Murders in crime reporter's family
Nagpur, Maharashtra
In a horrific incident, the mother and daughter of Ravikant Kamble, a crime reporter with a newsportal Nagpur Today, were abducted on Saturday, February 17. Kamble put the news out on Facebook, appealing for information, but their bodies were found the next day. Police Commissioner Dr. Venkatesan told the portal the murders could be due to personal reasons, but did not elaborate.
Unidentified Assailants
Nagpur Police detained two suspects; investigations on to determine link with reporter's professional work
AttacksApril 8, 2018
TV journalist shot outside his home, shifted to ICU in Ghaziabad
Kavinagar, Ghaziabad
On April 8, Sunday Anuj Chawdhary a journalist based in Ghaziabad was shot by two unidentified bike-borne men, outside his home in Kavi Nagar. Local journalists staged a protest against the SHO due to the lax responce of the police. The police arrested 9 men related to the incident on April 9. Doctors said journalist's condition was critical and he was moved to the ICU. Union minister General V K Singh visited the hospital as well, inquiring about his condition.
Two arrested sharpshooters, allegedly working for prime suspect Shekhar Chaudhary , a former local councillor charged with the murder of BJP leder Brijpal Teotia
Sharpshooter nabbed on April 16; accomplice Vikash held. Main accused Shekhar Chaudhary lodged in Dasna jail for the attempted murder on BJP leader Brijpal Teotia in August 2016. He had allegedly masterminded the attack and had handed out a contract of Rs 7 lakh to eliminate Anuj.
Deaths, Attacks, Arrests, Threats, Harassme: Viraj
Censorship: Srishti
Internet Censorship: Anushka
Govt Policies, Court Orders, regulatory : Mignon
Defamation: Yash
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