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Independent journalist Mandeep Punia gets bail

Delhi Court granted bail to freelance journalist Mandeep Punia who was picked by the Delhi police from the farmers’ protest site at Delhi

Delhi: A Delhi Court Tuesday granted bail to freelance journalist Mandeep Punia who was picked by the Delhi police on January 30 from the farmers’ protest site at Delhi’s Singhu border.

The Court noted that the alleged scuffle incident took place around 6.30 PM. However, the FIR was registered at around 1.21 AM on the next day.

It also observed that the complainant, victims and witnesses are police personnel only. Hence, there is no possibility that the accused/applicant can able to influence any of the police officials.

The police sought dismissal of Punia’s bail plea on the ground that he may indulge in instigating the protesters and create a nuisance at the protest site with a group of people.

They also alleged that during the investigation he neither cooperated nor did he disclose the name of his associates.

In his bail plea, Punia had contended that he was merely carrying out his journalistic duties when he was apprehended by the Delhi Police.

The plea highlighted that there was a delay of seven hours in filing the FIR and both the complainant and victim were police officers.

Earlier, Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), Press Club of India (PCI) and the Press Association Sunday condemned the police’s action against freelance journalist Mandeep Punia, and Online News India’s Dharmender Singh, both of who were picked up by the Delhi Police on January 30 evening from the farmers protest site at the Singhu Border.

Dharmender Singh was later released by the police, but Mandeep was sent to Tihar jail.

Punia was represented by advocate Sarim Naved before the Delhi Court.

The article was originally published in The Leaflet. 

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