Several officers of UP Police termed the incident “unfortunate” and described IPS Mordia as a “well-respect and good officer”.
A video of a scuffle between a television reporter and a senior police officer in Lucknow has drawn severe criticism to the Uttar Pradesh Police. Several state police officers have called the incident “unfortunate”.
On Friday, an altercation broke out between journalist Shubham Pandey and IPS Piyush Mordia, who is serving as Lucknow’s joint commissioner of police (law and order) after the officer allegedly, placed his palm on his camera.
Shubham was reporting on the visit of former UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav to the police headquarters following the arrest of a party worker.
A visibly upset journalist registered a strong objection to the IPS officer’s conduct, shouting “haath kaise lagaya” (how dare you place your hand) in a hall full of police officers and other government officials. They were seen pushing each other as other policemen intervened and tried to pacify them.
The video of the scuffle has gone viral on social media platforms with many criticising the officer for his high-handed approach towards media persons.
In the capital Lucknow, several police officers have called Mordiya “an honest and well-respected officer”.
Speaking to The New Indian, a police officer, who was present at the spot, said that the indent was unfortunate. “But it was completely unintentional,” he said.
“There were a lot of media persons present outside the police headquarters. We did not allow them inside because there was chaos. On spotting this journalist inside the headquarters, other journalists gathered outside started insisting to put him out or get them in for their coverage,” he said on the condition of anonymity.
The police officer further said, “Our officer (Mordia) had first requested him (journalist Shubham) to go out for further coverage. It was unfortunate and was not done deliberately.”
Akhilesh Yadav was at the police headquarters in Lucknow to protest against the arrest of Samajwadi Party’s media cell director Manish Jagan Aggarwal for posting “objectionable comments” on the party’s official account. He has been booked in three cases under the IT Act.
It was alleged that the SP’s Twitter handle made objectionable comments against some top BJP leaders, including spokespersons Rakesh Tripathi, Manish Shukla, Alok Awasthi, Naveen Srivastava and others.