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Mumbai Police detain independent journalist for documenting a slum demolition

MUMBAI:In what appears to be a case of heavy-handed police action, freelance journalist Priyanka Borpujari was detained today for documenting a demolition drive in Mumbai’s Santacruz area.

The incident came to light when journalist Peter Griffin from The Hindu tweeted about it. Borpujari has worked on assignments for the newspaper.

Borpujari had been filming the slum demolition when the police allegedly began beating up children and women. On seeing that she had been able to record the police heavy-handedness, some women constables snatched her phone, pulled at her clothes and dragged her towards a police vehicle.

Borpujari was, then, taken to the Bandra Kurla Complex Police Station where she was denied access to her phone. Her journalistic credentials were questioned since she did not possess a press card -- Borpujari is a freelance journalist so it is normal for her to not have one.

The police has registered a complaint against her under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code among other sections.

Borpujari has been released for now and will have to appear before the investigating officer in due course.

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