Assault case: Probe ordered after viral image shows Odisha journalist chained to hospital bed

An investigation has been ordered after a viral image on Thursday showed a journalist of an Odia newspaper chained to a hospital bed in Odisha’s Balasore district, the police said. Loknath Dalei was arrested following an altercation with a home guard after their vehicles collided on Wednesday, officers added.

Balasore police superintendent Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra said a detailed report has been sought in the matter from the concerned police personnel and necessary action will be taken.

Dalei explained that he was informed about the assault case on Wednesday evening and was subsequently taken to the police station. “When I reached the police station, I tried to reason with the police that it was a minor accident with no major damage on either side, but they refused to pay any heed,” he said. The journalist also alleged that he was manhandled by the policemen. “I was thrashed by the policemen at the station, after which I fell unconscious,” he added.

He was first taken to a primary health center and later to the Balasore district health headquarters. “There were three policemen around to keep a watch on me. They made me lie down on the floor and chained my legs to the hospital bed from 7 am to 12 noon,” the journalist alleged, adding that he will take up the matter with the National Human Rights Commission.

The journalist was booked under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 294 (utters obscene song, ballad or words), 506 (criminal intimidation), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty ), 186 (voluntarily obstructs public servant in the discharge of public functions), 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and 332 (voluntarily causes hurt to public servant in the discharge of duty) under the Indian Penal Code.


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