Determined to frame dissenting voices for the anti-muslim Delhi pogrom, the Delhi Police Special Cell now interrogated veteran journalist Prashant Tandon on August 10. He was questioned at the Special Cell office for nearly 10 hours, after which his mobile phone was seized.
Yesterday I have been questioned by Spl Cell of Delhi Police for several hours in connection with an FIR on Delhi riots. Questioning was done in a cordial atmosphere and I was dropped home by them. They however have kept my phone with them.
— Prashant Tandon (@PrashantTandy) August 11, 2020
Most of the interrogation revolved around Tandon’s participation in a Whatsapp group called ‘DPSG (Delhi Protest Support Group)’ which was formed during the Anti-CAA-NRC protests and was joined by many prominent activists, intellectuals, journalists, and so on. While the members came from varied backgrounds, they had joined the group because they found it important to support this movement, which the police are trying to take as proof of participation in rioting.
The police interrogated Tandon about the group, pressurising him to name and give details about all the different members. The police also questioned him about his presence at certain protests. He had attended protests at Jantar Mantar, and two meetings that were held to discuss the course of action. One of these was at Indian Social Institute and another at Prashant Bhushan’s office, at which Sharjeel Imam was also present. Tandon was questioned about Imam’s presence, although he did not know him at the time. Imam has already been arrested under the UAPA in connection with the riots. Tandon was also questioned about his association with Yogendra Yadav and Rahul Roy, who had formed some of the coordination groups he was part of.
Interestingly, there hasnt been any support for Tandon from the Broadcast Editors’ Association, of which he was a founding member. Tandon has been in the field of journalism for more than 25 years, having started in newspapers and gone on to work in television. In recent years, he had been working as an independent journalist and covering important news regarding human rights and environmental issues.
This interrogation has come soon after the interrogation of Prof. Apoorvanand, in connection with the same case. Both of their phones have been seized. It is clear that both of them are being targeted merely for their presence at certain protests or dissenting groups, and their audacity to be critical of the current government. Meanwhile, other professors and intellectuals across the country are being hounded and framed under the Bhima Koregaon case as well.