HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on August 4, 2021, regarding the assault and intimidation of journalist Mr. Chandrabhusan Tiwar by the Bihar police for exposing police corruption.
Mr. Tiwari is a journalist associated with the Gyan Sikshya Times in the Kundra block of Kaimur district. He writes on a range of issues including human rights violations and corruption. Mr. Tiwari while traveling with a fellow journalist on July 11, 2021, noticed a traffic jam in the Nafotp diversion. He found that the traffic jam was caused by the local police station, which was stopping vehicles and collecting a bribe. He started shooting the incident with his mobile phone.
It was noticed by the police officials who snatched away his mobile phone and assaulted him with batons in spite of him repeatedly stating that he was a working journalist. When the journalist duo raised the matter with the station in charge, he threatened them with further trouble if they raise the matter with higher officials.
Mr. Tiwari wrote to the District Superintendent of Police and Director General of Police of Bihar the next day and complained about the atrocities meted on him. He is yet to hear back from them.
Mr. Tiwari had a full right to collect, document, and disseminate information that is of public interest. The assault on Mr. Tiwari is a violation of his right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19 (a) of the Constitution of India and the police officials involved in the act must be taken to task.