June 22nd, 2015
The wave of violence against Indian journalists reached a new height yesterday with a journalist from Madhya Pradesh being set on fire and killed.
A journalist from Katangi area of Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh was burnt alive, allegedly by mining mafia on 19th June. The burnt body of journalist Sandeep Kothari was found in Wardha district of Maharashtra on Saturday. He was kidnapped and burnt alive, after he refused to withdraw the case that he had filed in the local court, against illegal mining.
According to the reports, the journalist was kidnapped while he was going to Umri Village in Balaghat on the night of June 19. He was on his bike, with a friend when the bike was hit by a car. There were three men in the car, who had beaten Sandeep’s friend, before abducting the journalist himself. Two men have been arrested by the police and they are identified as Vishal Dandi and Brijesh Duharwal. The third accused is identified as Rakesh Nasvani, who is on a run since the incident.
Sandeep was working as a local correspondent for a Jabalpur-based Hindi daily. Naveen Kothari, the brother of Sandeep Kothari said, “They are related to manganese mafia… My brother was a good journalist. He exposed many of their corrupt practices”.
This is the second incident in this month after a freelance journalist, Jagendra Singh was burnt alive in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district on June 1. Jagendra Singh had died on June 8, a week after being set on fire. He had accused a state minister of being involved in illegal mining and land seizures.
The Logical Indian community condemns these attacks on the journalists, who did their best to bring the criminal activities to light. Strict actions should be taken against the perpetrators of crime, and justice be brought to the journalists who didn’t fear death for what was right.
Violence against journalists weakens our democracy. When the people entrusted with providing the people with information have to fear for their lives, it send out the wrong signals about how India protects her citizens