Freelance Journalist Detained In Mumbai For Allegedly Provoking Crowd

Mumbai:  Priyanka Borpujari, a Mumbai-based independent journalist who writes for international publications was detained by the Mumbai Police on Tuesday afternoon for allegedly instigating a crowd during a demolition drive which was being carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation with police protection.

The police denied making any arrests as there were rumours of the journalist having been arrested. A top police officer told NDTV that action against her was taken as she was functioning in the capacity of an activist and instigating the crowd in a volatile situation. However reporters who spoke to Ms Borpujari say she was detained as she had filmed policemen beating women during the demolition drive and the they had confiscated her phone for the same reason.

In a statement, the Mumbai Police said, “While the encroachment department was taking action at the Ambedkarnagar slum the local residents clashed with BMC and police officers. a woman from the crowd bit lady police constable Swati Tondkar’s hand. The woman was being encouraged by a female journalist. Case has been registered under Section 397/17, Section 353, 333, 141, 143, 114, 34.”

NDTV reached out to Ms Borpujari but she said she did not want to comment as she was stressed out by what had happened on Tuesday afternoon.

The police added that Ms Borpujari was not carrying any Press ID.

Ms Borpujari contributes to the national daily The Hindu. Peter Griffin, Resident Editor of The Hindu in Mumbai tweeted:


However Mr Griffin also clarified that Ms Borpujari was not commissioned to do this particular story for The Hindu though Ms Borpujari had informed him that she would have pitched it to him had things not taken such a turn. Mr Griffin said that several friends and journalists are standing by to bail her out should that be required. He also added that she had suffered a bruise on her neck.

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