Arnab Goswami’s news channel Republic TV stoked yet another controversy on Tuesday after two of its female reporters, Nalini Sharma and Sumaira Khan, and their crew got into a scuffle with the students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) while covering an event inside the college campus.
According to The Quint, the journalists were present there to cover an event in which AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi was expected to speak.
While the students reported that the scribes called AMU the “university of terrorists” during the live coverage, the reporters claim there was “no provocation” from their end to invite such an attack and were prevented from reporting because they were from the Republic TV.
The news channel broadcast a video of the scuffle which showed the crew members arguing with the AMU security on campus amid a crowd of students.
However, Sharjeel Usmani, a student at the university, alleged on Facebook that one of the Republic TV reporters, while reporting live, had said that they were reporting from the “university of terrorists”.
“Arnab’s Republic TV in AMU was reporting live that ‘we’re standing in the university of terrorists’. Students tried to intervene and the reporters started abusing the students. One of the cameramen manhandled the students, calling us all terrorist. I tried intervening and he attacked me with his pen. Students have shown them their way out of the varsity campus.’We are not going to be intimidated by terrorist’, is what their reporter said (sic),” read Usmani’s Facebook post.
Another version of the ruckus, as described by one of the reporters with Republic TV Nalini Sharma, said that the reports of them calling the AMU students “terrorists” were completely “untrue” and “baseless”.
Sharma took to Twitter to say that one Azeem Akhtar, a security officer at AMU, had asked the TV crew to stop while she was reporting live. As the reporter didn’t respond to him while covering the event, Akhtar “got agitated” and began “messing” with their equipment.
She further said: “When we tried to fight back, our camera and other equipment was snatched from us. We were physically pushed, verbally abused and harassed. The camera was broken into pieces before us when we tried to record the hooligan behaviour that the students were indulging in.”
This is a first hand account of what happened today. Any other version of the story is simply untrue. We have some footage from phones of local journos but most of it has been destroyed. Multiple locals& police officials have told me this kind of occurance is “very common” in AMU
— Nalini 🌼 (@nalinisharma_) February 12, 2019