Thursday , 2 December 2021

Mumbai Police terrorise press photographer. A warning to plane spotting in Mumbai.

The Mid-Day is quite a famous newspaper in the financial capital of India, Mumbai. On July 8th, the Mumbai Police quite literally terrorised one of the papers accredited photographers Sayed Sameer Abedi who recounts the horrors he faced in this article. His alleged crime? Taking photographs of an airplane without the permission of the Mumbai Police.

Bangalore Aviation readers can keep in mind the freedoms enjoyed by the press in India which is a powerful force and that the Mid-Day is a large and recognised newspaper and despite his accreditations, and his employer, the Mumbai police has threatened Mr. Abedi for taking a photograph in which an aircraft is also pictured.

As per the report Mr. Abedi recounts his initial experience with Senior Inspector Samadhan Dhanedhar

He asked me to show him the photographs I had clicked and then asked me how I had dared to take photos of an aircraft without taking permission from him. When I protested and told him that I was just doing my job and was doing nothing that was against the law, he shouted me down and asked me not to raise my voice.

May be the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai should instruct his Senior Inspector that photography in India, is controlled ONLY at airports, and that too by the Director General of Civil Aviation.

If the officer needs to read the law, he should read Rule 13 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. For Inspector Dhanedhar’s quick reference here is a related story with links to all the relevant rules and Gazzette of India notifications.

Senior most officers of the Mumbai police have told Bangalore Aviation that as per the law photography at Jari Mari is permitted. However, police sources also indicate the area is extremely sensitive from both a communal as well as security perspectives.

The fact that the Mumbai Police outright terrorised Mr. Abedia disregarding his proper press accreditations and the power and clout of the Mid-Day newspaper should serve as a fair warning to plane spotters who risk a far worse treatment when taking photographs.

Spotters have reported incidents of the Mumbai Police wielding their sticks mercilessly and targeting equipment. One can only thank god that the Mumbai Police are not given guns across the board.

What are your thoughts on this callous and high handed behaviour by the Mumbai Police? Post a comment.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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