Committee to Protect Journalists Seeks Action Against Killers of Jharkhand Reporter

Chandan Tiwari had told the police he was receiving death threats in April this year and requested protection.

New Delhi: The Committee to Protect Journalists has said that Indian authorities must act immediately against those responsible for the abduction and killing of Jharkhand-based reporter Chandan Tiwari, who worked for the Hindi daily Aaj.

Tiwari was abducted on Monday (October 29) night from Pathhalgada, according to the police. The next day, he was found badly beaten in the Balthar forest and taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

In April, 32-year-old Tiwari had complained to the police about threats to his life and requested protection. However, his threat was no granted, IANS reported.

At a press conference held on November 1, the police said they had identified three people suspects in the case – Pintu Singh, Jamuna Prasad and Musafir Rana. According to a report in Dainik Bhaskar, Tiwari had exposed alleged financial irregularities in Singh’s private contracting business.

“The abduction and killing of Chandan Tiwari underscores the dangers local journalists face while working in India, particularly when exposing corruption,” CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney said. “Jharkhand police must bring all those responsible, including the mastermind, to justice.”

Also read: #TruthNeverDies: For Democracy to Survive, Attacks on Journalists Must End

Journalists in Jharkhand too have asked for swift action. “Our correspondent has been brutally killed,” Aaj resident editor Amit Kumar Agarwal told IANS. “Tiwary had filed a complaint in April regarding threats to his life. But he was not provided any security.”

The police has set up a special team to probe the killing. “But our reporters have handed over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner of Chatra seeking a CBI probe. It is the duty of the government to provide security to journalists. We also demand compensation to the family,” Agarwal said.

Earlier this week, as The Wire reported, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its Global Impunity Index on Monday titled “Getting Away with Murder: CPJ’s 2018 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free”. India has landed at the 14th position with 18 unsolved cases. In all, it has been on the list 11 times and was ranked 12th in 2017. In its 2017 report, CPJ had said that since the early 1990s, 27 journalists had been killed “with complete impunity” in India. India also refused to participate yet again in UNESCO’s impunity accountability mechanism, which requests information on the status of investigations into killed journalists.

India ranks 136th among 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.

(With agency inputs)