Tuesday 23 February 2016

Attack was clearly planned ------ Sonal Mehrotra

Open Letter To Police Chief Bassi From NDTV Reporter Sonal Mehrotra

Sonal Malhotra, Bassi

This man is Vikram Singh Chauhan, has a degree of a lawyer but works like a goon – a tweet to me shared some information about him.

New Delhi, Feb 18 : Dear Police Chief Bassi,
So much support has poured in since the attack on several journalists like me on Monday at a Delhi court where we were covering the hearing of arrested JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar.
The morning after ndtv.com ran my blog, and we released the pictures of the goons who attacked another reporter and my friend Amit Pandey and threatened to break my bones too, someone tweeted me the details, name, number and address of Vikram Chauhan. You, however, said the violence at court amounted to “incidents of a minor nature.” Perhaps your men felt the same way, because they certainly did not try to save those of us being threatened or hit.

So we have to carry out our own investigations – and presumably, take self-defense classes.
This man is Vikram Singh Chauhan, has a degree of a lawyer but works like a goon – a tweet to me shared some information about him.
We checked the details and a colleague of mine was sent to interview him.
I wasn’t expecting him to be apologetic about his conduct, but his brazenness was mind-numbing! Not only did he justify his act of thrashing people, he declared that if needed, he will do it again.
He also lied through his teeth stating he was provoked into violence. “The JNU guys started it first, they raised anti-India slogans”. These were blatant lies – as we waited for Kanhaiya Kumar to arrive in court on Monday, things were dead calm till this man had barged in saying “Leave this courtroom, this is no place for anti-nationals”. 20 journalists can vouch for this. Perhaps you could make the time to have a word with us.
After the attack on Monday, my family was worried. My mother threatened to book me on the next flight home and my father said he was convinced that this profession is unsuitable for young women like me. “It’s a dirty, filthy world out there, beta, and we don’t want you hurt” is what I heard several times on Monday.
I have to agree I was shaken after the Monday attack. Being in journalism, one is often in dangerous situations, but never before had I been targeted, threatened with my life for simply doing my job. Especially when the police is present.
So I got back to court yesterday to cover Kanhaiya Kumar’s second appearance in court this week.  Same lull at first, and then the same perpetrators. There in front of me was Vikram Singh Chauhan, who had two days ago warned to break my phone and my bones. This time, he had a national flag and an even larger crowd behind him. The group was shouting “Bharat mein rehna hoga toh Vande Matram kehna hoga (to stay in India, you have to say Vande Mataram”). Vikram Chauhan swaggered as if he owned the place.
The violence that followed has been reported widely.
A little later in the day, I went to the court canteen to grab a bottle of water. There I found myself facing Vikram Chauhan again. This time he saw me, the look in his eyes and a nasty smile showed he had placed me.
My camera-person quickly moved me out of the court compound.
If the cops were caught by surprise on Monday, yesterday’s attack was clearly planned, with Facebook and other calls made to lawyers asking more “patriots” to join in. Yet, the violence took place. You said later that “The situation is not out of hand”.
Perhaps you have a different way of assessing law and order than the rest of us.
It is just baffling – goons are walking free without any fear, and journalists and students were being beaten up. Supreme Court orders are being defied. How is it that over 2,000 cops in and around the Patiala House Court were simply incapable of maintaining law and order?
This is a grave, serious situation for the country, and as someone said, “if there is anytime for media to do its job, it’s now.”
Goons like Vikram Chauhan will NOT intimidate us, they will strengthen our resolve to expose the truth. So, Police Chief Bassi, while you may fail to ensure the safety of ordinary people in Delhi, I’ve told my mother I’m not taking that flight back home just yet.
(Sonal Mehrotra is chief correspondent with NDTV 24×7. She covers political, human interest and gender-sensitive stories.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of IndiaTrendingNow.Com and IndiaTrendingNow.Com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

1 comment:

  1. What Sonal Mehrotra writes show her courage - bravo people like you will keep our civilized norms intact.Things are changing and be sure that history does not come to an end with a year or so..thousands and thousands will come forward to keep our head high .Our soil will prove a grave for fascists.