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Reporter Arrested By Punjab Police; Press Bodies Say 'Attack' On Media Freedom

The police arrested Kishore, her colleague Mrityunjay Kumar and another man Parminder Singh in Ludhiana for allegedly knocking down a woman with their speeding car and verbally abusing her

Punjab police
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Press associations have condemned the arrest of Times Now journalist Bhawana Kishore by the Punjab Police and termed it as “blatant attack” on press freedom.

According to a report by Indian Express, the police arrested Kishore, her colleague Mrityunjay Kumar and another man Parminder Singh in Ludhiana for allegedly knocking down a woman with their speeding car and verbally abusing her.

The report further said that the incident happened when the woman was on her way to attend the inauguration of an Aam Aadmi Clinic (Mohalla clinic) in Ludhiana which was being attended by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. The same inaugural programme was being covered by journalist Kishore. 

In her complaint, the woman from Ghatti Valmiki said that a speeding vehicle hit her from behind as soon as she alighted from an e-rickshaw along with two other women and was walking towards the inaugural venue, the report said.

Meanwhile, press associations said that no female officer was present at the spot. "The Editors Guild of India is concerned about the attitude of the law enforcement agencies towards journalists that has been on display through several incidents noted and decried. The latest seems to be the detention of a Times Now reporter where established norms were not followed by the Punjab Police,” the Editors Guild said in a statement on Saturday.

“Times Now has claimed that even though she was not driving the car, she was detained by the Punjab Police and taken away in a car by a male cop,” the association further said.

The Indian Women's Press Corps too demanded "strict action against the erring police personnel and want immediate relief for the journalists."

Meanwhile, the Indian Express report also said that the concerned TV channel authorities have opposed the arrests alleging that their reporter was implicated in a false case in Punjab, where AAP is in power, to muzzle the media’s voice. The channel had recently covered the alleged extravagant expenditure on Kejriwal’s home which sparked a debate, the report said.

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