Journalists in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday were asked to remove their black attire after they arrived at the venue of a function, attended by BJP President Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in Varanasi.
Shah and Adityanath were expected to address a group of 17,000 youth of 17 years, who would the first time voters in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
A video posted by Aaj Tak shows how policemen deployed at the venue are stopping an ANI crew from entering the area because the journalist in question was wearing a black jacket. He was first asked to remove his jacket even though he pleaded that journalists were always exempt from such restrictions.
The conversation lasts for over a minute with cops refusing to relent until an organiser identifies the ANI journalist and requests the cops to let them in.
The video has now gone viral on social media platforms. This is not the first time people have been asked to remove their black attire while attending the rallies addressed by BJP leaders. A woman was asked to remover her burqa in November last year after she arrived at a function attended by Adityanath.
Reacting to the incident, Balia SP, Anil Kumar, had then said, “I have not been informed of any incident where a woman was asked to take off her burqa. However, everyone had the instructions to see that no one shows black cloth to Yogi ji. Whatever you are mentioning will be probed and action will be taken.”
Since becoming the chief minister in March last year, Adityanath has had to face protests on many occasions with protesters waving black flags at him. The new rule appears to have been made to stop more such protests in future.
The news, however, did not go down well with journalists, who targetted the UP Police for attempting to dictate people’s choice of clothing.
The same UP police that left two to bleed to death on road the other day is working diligently to make journalists take off their “black” jackets for entering BJP President Amit Shah’s rally!!! So after the food that you can eat, the govt is here to dictate what you wear too! https://t.co/a1sClDqUow
— Prashant Kumar (@scribe_prashant) January 20, 2018
योगी और अमित शाह के वाराणसी के युवा उदघोष कार्यक्रम में काला कपड़ा पहनकर जाने पर लगी रोक. पत्रकारो को भी काले जैकेट की वजह से एंट्री के लिए जूझना पड़ा..#ReporterDiary @abhishek6164 pic.twitter.com/rQFpCj7XNA
— आज तक (@aajtak) January 20, 2018