A journalist working with a private satellite channel in Nagaon, Assam, was allegedly assaulted by the deputy commissioner of the district inside his office on January 5.
Journalist Dipankar Medhi, in a startling revelation, alleged that Nagaon DC Narendra Kumar Shah assaulted him when he went to the district administration office to question the DC on behalf of a woman regarding unpaid pensions.
Medhi claimed that the official physically attacked him after “turning off the CCTV”.
A viral video shows the journalist being dragged by the police. He was later released.
The incident resulted in widespread criticism with the Gauhati Press Club seeking immediate action against the erring official. “Senior journalist Dipankar Medhi was manhandled while collecting news in Nagaon district. He was assaulted just because he asked some questions to the Nagaon deputy commissioner Narendra Shah. Also, the camera of the journalist was allegedly seized. The Gauhati Press Club strongly condemns the incident and demands a high-level investigation,” a statement said.
Amid the controversy, Nagaon DC Narendra Shah denied the allegations, describing the incident as “unfortunate”. A report in India Today NE quoted Shah as saying: “Nothing of that sort (assault) has happened. No assault has happened. It is an unfortunate incident, but I would not like to further comment. But I want to make it clear that there was no assault.”
The Nagaon DC further said that the journalist in question had started recording their conversation without any permission.
“They had started recording without even asking my permission, and started recording. So, I had no other option. But there was no assault,” Shah was quoted as saying by India Today NE.
The incident has sparked outrage among journalists across the state, prompting demands for a thorough investigation.
Several journalists staged a protest at Nagaon Press Club and Gauhati Press Club on January 6 demanding quick action.