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'I kept telling them I'm a journalist but they kept beating me': Photographer beaten at Delhi protest

A student shouts slogans demanding the resignation of the education minister as she is detained by police during a protest against the death of student Rohith Vemula in New Delhi, India, 27 January 2016
A student shouts slogans demanding the resignation of the education minister as she is detained by police during a protest against the death of student Rohith Vemula in New Delhi, India, 27 January 2016

AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

Excerpt of a 9 February 2016 CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Senior Research Associate.

As police cracked down on protesters in Delhi during recent protests over the treatment of Dalits, who occupy the lowest rungs of India's caste ladder, journalists were caught in the fray. The protests were sparked by the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a student who had been barred from halls of residence and parts of campus, according to news reports.

CPJ has previously documented cases of police and security forces using harsh measures and jailings to suppress media coverage across the country, from the restive regions of Kashmir and Chhattisgarh to the capital, Delhi. This latest case raises the question again of how such misconduct--often unchecked--is able to continue in a country that claims the mantle of being the world's largest democracy.

Photojournalist Rahul M., who was covering one of the protests in Delhi on January 30, for the independent magazine The Caravan, says police beat him and broke his camera.

Read CPJ's inteview with Rahul
who described the assault and shared pictures of the protest that he managed to take before his equipment was smashed.

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