A 36-year-old journalist on Thursday alleged that he and seven others were stripped and thrashed at a police station in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district, after they were arrested for staging a protest against the arrest of a theatre artist.
The purported incident took place on April 2 and came to light on Thursday when semi-nude photos of the eight arrested people went viral. HT could not verify the authenticity of the photos.
Journalist Kanishk Tiwari, who runs a YouTube channel, said he and a few Congress workers and other theatre artistes were arrested on April 2 for protesting the arrest of theatre artiste Neeraj Kunder at Sidhi police station.
According to police, Kunder was arrested for allegedly making obscene remarks against Bharatiya Janata Party (MLA) Kedarnath Shukla and his son, Guru Dutt, on social media.
Tiwari alleged that he and others were stripped and thrashed at the police station.
“Police removed my clothes and thrashed me. They took photos and tried to circulate them on social media… they arrested me for supporting a reputed artiste,” Tiwari, who was released on bail, along with the others, on Wednesday, said.
“In the past, I had made several revelations, including how a local MLA failed to construct roads and provide water to residents, on my YouTube channel.”
Police, however, said that Tiwari and seven others were arrested as they were creating a ruckus in the police station.
“Kunder, director of Indravati Natya Sansthan (a local drama institute), was arrested for continuously defaming Shukla and his son. Kunder had made a fake Facebook profile for this purpose. He was arrested on April 2 under section 419 (impersonation) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and under sections 66C and 66D of the IT Act,” Sidhi Kotwali police station in-charge Mukesh Soni said.