Lucknow: A journalist with The Hindu newspaper was picked up by the Lucknow police and detained for over two hours. He was finally released after he was accused of conspiracy in the Lucknow violence against the Citizenship Act.
Omar Rashid is the Uttar Pradesh correspondent for The Hindu newspaper, and said he was busy with filing his story at a local restaurant along with a friend when the police arrived.
According to an NDTV report, Rashid said: "I was using someone's WiFi in the hotel. Suddenly about four to five people in plain clothes came and they started interrogating my friend. They asked him to identify himself. The asked me to identify myself. They then put him in a jeep and ask me to also come along. I identified myself as a journalist and told them who I am. They insisted I went with them."
"They locked us up in a room. They took away all my belongings including my phone. They beat up my friend brutally. They questioned him and linked him to the violence. They also linked me to the violence saying I am a key conspirator in the violence. They were asking me questions about certain Kashmiris coming here and participating in the violence. Each time I was trying to ask them something they asked me to shut up. They used expletives and said you can put your journalism elsewhere, we don't care about it. They told me they had proof against me. The put us in a jeep again and took us to an outpost. Another police officer used a lot of communal slurs against me and said he would tear my beard," he added.
He was let off after calls were made to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office and to top cop.
There have been massive protests across the country, including many cities in Uttar Pradesh, over the new Citizenship Act, which for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India.