Female journalist, crew of Republic TV heckled at Aligarh Muslim University, camera and equipment broken

The police outside the AMU gate remained mute spectator while Republic TV crew was attacked inside

Today the students of the Aligarh Muslim University had alleged that the Republic TV crew which was present in their campus reportedly indulged in physical and verbal harassment. The students accused the Republic TV scribes of calling the institute as ‘University of Terrorists’.

The Wire journalist further insinuated that such behaviour has been commonplace by the Repuplic TV journalists with public figures and the forthwith condemnation by the BJP MP from Aligarh suggests a set-up. The Wire journalist here is implying that it was a deliberate attempt by the Republic TV crew to incite the students of the AMU by name-calling them.

However, in an elaborate thread, the Republic TV journalist who was present at the scene and victim of the ire of the AMU students outrightly dismissed the lies peddled by the Wire journalist and penned down her ordeal in excruciating detail. Nalini Sharma, working as a journalist at Republic TV, claimed in a series of tweets that the Wire journalist was concocting blatant lies and that she and her crew were, in fact, the victims of the unbridled aggression displayed by the violent elements in the AMU who were averse to Republic TV.

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Nalini claimed that while she was reporting live on an issue totally unrelated to AMU, a security official of the AMU who identified himself as Azeem Akthar asked them to stop the reporting. Nalini ignored him as she was reporting live on air. After that, a group of students gathered around them and the Republic TV crew were pushed around and their equipment manhandled. They were immediately asked to leave the University because they were from ‘Republic TV’.

According to Nalini, this was just the beginning. The crowd began to grow and the heckling intensified as the Republic TV crew were waiting for their car to arrive. She further alleges that when they began to oppose the physical abuse, their cameras and equipment were snatched away from them and broken into pieces by the hoodlums of the AMU.

This was not the end, a human chain was formed by the students, exhorting others to not allow these ‘women’ to leave the campus “at any cost”. They were physically pushed when they tried to break the human chain. With great difficulty, Nalini along with her another female colleague and three male colleagues pushed through the human chain and managed to escape the University campus.

All this while, the police forces stationed outside the gates of the AMU behaved like a bystander witnessing the violent intimidation. When Nalini asked the police to recover their cameras which had footage of the hooliganism of the AMU students, the police said that they had no authority inside the campus and hence they cannot help it. They further informed her that such kind of unruly behaviour by AMU students is common. The hoodlums in the University had destroyed all the cameras, equipment and mobile phones that they had captured during the violent heckling and intimidation.

The journalists were abused, heckled, physically pushed around and subjected to the worst kind of intimidation just because they belonged to Republic TV. Instead of standing for their fellow colleagues’ Freedom of Speech and their safety, the Wire journalist spun a web of lies, legitimising the condemnable act by the AMU hoodlums and branding the victims as perpetrators and vice-versa.

A report on the incident by Republic Bharat can be seen here.


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