Police in India invite reporters to ‘live’ shooting of two alleged murderers (VIDEO)
Journalists in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh district got a call at around 6:45am on Thursday from police asking them if they wanted to witness the operation, described as an “encounter,” according to the Times of India (ToI).
In what is understood to have been the first time police invited the media to attend one of its ‘encounters,’ news of the invitation soon spread and regional and national reporters lined up at the location in the Machua village within 15 minutes.
When reporters arrived they found officers, some clad with bullet-proof vests and others in plain uniform or just a t-shirt, corner and the gun down the two men, known as Mustakim and Naushad. The two had reportedly fired 34 rounds before being killed by officers while hiding in a building belonging to the irrigation department.
Reporters were not provided with appropriate protective equipment and were asked to stay at least 100 metres away from where officers stood, the local news site reports.
When asked by the TOI why journalists had been invited, Aligarh Senior Superintendent Ajay Kumar Sahini told the paper: “There is nothing wrong in it. We wanted to provide first-hand information to the media.”
He added that orders for the media to be called to the scene had come from “the top,” as the force strives to adopt a “transparent approach”.
According to Aligarh’s Superintendent Atul Srivastava, before being killed the men had fired shots and fled from police who had asked them to stop.
It prompted officers to “give chase” to the duo.
But the men’s relatives allege the encounter was fake, with the mother of one of them saying, in a press conference that evening, that her son had been picked up from home by police on Sunday before he was “murdered in cold blood.” Sahini, however, rejected the claims.
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