In India, second journalist killed, burned

22 Jun

The burned body of a journalist was found in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Saturday, the day after he had been kidnapped, according to news reports. The murder of Sandeep Kothari is the second such one of a journalist in India in less than two weeks.

“The horrific murder of another journalist in less than two weeks is alarming and is symptomatic of India’s entrenched culture of impunity,” said CPJ Asia Program Research Associate Sumit Galhotra. “We call on Indian authorities to launch an independent investigation into Sandeep Kothari’s death, identify the motive, and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Assailants on Friday night abducted Kothari in their vehicle in the central state of Madhya Pradesh after beating the journalist and his friend, who was with him at the time, according to The Associated Press which cited police. The journalist’s body was found the next day, burned and beaten, near railroad tracks in neighboring Maharashtra, news reports said.

Kothari’s family said the journalist may also have been killed in connection with a court case he filed against the owners of mining companies, calling on them to end their mining operations in the region, news reports said. Kothari’s brother said the journalist was under pressure from the companies to withdraw his complaint, according to news accounts.

CPJ research shows that at least 35 journalists have been killed in India since 1992, when the organization began keeping records. India is ranked 13th on CPJ’sannual Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered and their killers go free. India has repeatedly failed to advance justice in the cases of journalists working for local print publications who have been slain in connection to their reporting on corruption, politics, or crime, CPJ research shows.


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