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Pune policemen ignored ACP's order not to harass ETV Urdu journalist
Monday June 3, 2013 6:36 PM, ummid.com Staff Reporter

As the Pune police allegedly harassed, insulted and humiliated ETV Urdu journalist Shoeb Hashmi, he rang up Addl. Commissioner of Police (Admin.) Pune, Abdur Rehman who confirmed the identity of the reporter to the police personnel and directed them not to harass him, but they ignored his order.

"I had interviewed ACP Abdur Rehman few months ago. When the police personnel did not believe my ID card and refused to talk to my head office, I called ACP Abdur Rehman on phone. He confirmed my identity and directed them to let me do my duty. They replied in affirmative, but after that took me to the police station, humiliated and forced me to sit there for more than two hours", Shoeb Hashmi said while talking to ummid.com.

When contacted, ACP Abdur Rehman said he had received the journalist's call on Saturday. The ACP also said that he had requested the police personnel to let the reporter perform his duty.

"I am taking the matter higher up. I have already told the reporter to give me in writing what had exactly happened that day", ACP Abdur Rehman said while talking to ummid.com.

Police personnel in Pune had on Saturday allegedly humiliated and insulted Shoeb Hashmi - a Muslim journalist working for ETV Urdu – a TV network part of CNN-IBN, and seized his video-tape. The young journalist was also forced to sit in the police station for hours and was allowed to leave only after a written statement, and without his video-tape.

The journalist from Sholapur, who is working as a freelancer with ETV – Urdu and some other Urdu newspapers, was in Pune to cover for the channel the affected mosques due to the city's development plan. While he was shooting one of the affected mosques, police personnel from Samarth Police Station came and stopped him from shooting.

"They said the shooting of the mosque is not allowed and you can't do this", Hashmi said while talking to ummid.com on phone.

"I told the police personnel that the issue is being widely covered by Marathi and other media. I am doing nothing new and have taken a prior permission from the trustees of the Masjid. They, however, did not listen anything and started humiliating and insulting me", he said.

He said the police personnel were not ready to believe his identity cards and other documents. They were also not ready to listen to his fervent pleas to talk to his head office.

"They did not listen to anything and kept telling that fake documents and IDs are easily available. They even said that so many terrorists with fake IDs are roaming in the city. They said terrorists are even taking shelter inside the mosques", he said.

The police personnel did not stop here. They forced him to the Samarth Police Station and made him sit for more than two hours.

"When we reached the police station, the incharge police inspector was not in his seat. Till he came, the police personnel continued to misbehave with me. After the incharge police inspector came, he too misbehaved and let me go only after a written statement", he said.

He said that the police officer not only declined to give the photo copy of his statement but also refused to hand over his video-tape.

Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol could not be contacted despite various attempts.

ETV-Urdu head office in Hyderabad confirmed that Hashmi was in Pune to report for the channel. The office also slammed the police behaviour.

"Hashmi is working for us and he was in Pune for the coverage of the mosques affected by the development plan. If shooting these mosques was not permitted, the police should have put a notice there to make it clear", an ETV Urdu official said to ummid.com.

He also expressed surprise that the reporter was stopped from reporting something which was already being reported by others.

The entire incident is seen by the Muslim community members as yet another case to prove police bias against them. Angered and in shock, they are meeting Home Minister RR Patil to lodge complaint and demand action against the guilty policemen..

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