Bihar: National Hindi daily journalist shot dead in Madhubani


A journalist working for a national Hindi daily was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne miscreants at Sarsopahi bazar under Pandaul police station area of Bihar’s Madhubani district late Sunday evening, police said on Monday.

The deceased has been identified as Pradeep Mandal (36), Pandaul police station SHO Anuj Kumar said.

The bike-borne criminals identified as- Sushil Sah and Ashok Kamat- fled from the spot after pumping two bullets in the scribe’s stomach, the SHO said.

Mandal, who was associated with a national Hindi daily (Dainik Jagran) as its Pandaul block stringer, was rushed to Sarsopahi primary health centre where doctors declared him brought dead, the police official said.

Prima facie it seems to be the case of an old enmity between the slain media persons and the attackers, the SHO said.

The two miscreants have criminal antecedents as both have been named in a criminal case lodged with Bhairav Asthan police station of the district.

The body has been sent to Madhubani sadar hospital for autopsy, the SHO said.

Condemning the murder of the journalist, opposition RJD demanded immediate arrest of the criminals.

“I strongly condemn the killing of the journalist in Madhubani. This is the glaring example of deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Democracy will be in perils if people, who work as a watchman of democracy, are shot dead by criminals.

“Journalists are the mirror of the society and it is the first and foremost duty of the government to protect them. The administration arrest criminals immediately,” RJD legislator and spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav said.

Jharkhand: Two Days After Reported Missing, A Journalist And Two Others Found In Police Custody


Three people Rupesh Kumar Singh, 33, a social activist and independent journalist; Mithilesh Kumar Singh, 45, social activist and lawyer at Ramgarh Civil Court; Singh’s driver Mohammad Kalam, 42, were arrested allegedly with explosives from Dobhi More at NH-2, near Sherghati, around 30 km from Gaya, according to a Prabhat Khabar, a local newspaper, reported on June 7.

The same day, on which the details of their arrests published in the local newspaper, a unit of Bihar Police raided the house of Rupesh in Ramgarh and Bokaro and seized his laptop, mobile phone and “Naxal literature,” reported Newslaundry. However, the writing which was being referred to as “Naxal literature”, was nothing but a few articles written by Rupesh in Laal Mati, a magazine in which he is an editor.

While searching the house, the police were not able to provide any warrant when asked for the same. “I kept asking them for a copy of the search warrant, but they didn’t produce any. They took away his laptop, a few books on Lenin, Marx and other ideological stuff,” said Ipsa Shatakshi, Rupesh’s wife to Newslaundry.

The Case

On May 4, all three persons went missing while they were on their way to Mithilesh’s ancestral village in Aurangabad from Ramgarh. The same day, Mithilesh’s family lodged a missing person complaint at the Ramgarh police station. However, the report was filed the next day.

Two days later, around 1 pm on June 6, Mithilesh called Rupesh’s brother to inform that Rupesh was fine and they were on their way back to Ramgarh. But the call got disconnected before Rupesh’s brother could further ask anything. “We immediately rushed to Ramgarh police station and informed them about the call. At the same time, we were also concerned about not bothering police too much, but just wanted to keep them updated,” said Ipsa.

The same day, on June 6, Gaya Assistant Superintendent of Police (Naxal) Navin Kumar Singh and Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravish Kumar held a joint press conference with three accused (masked faces) in the background.

“We were tipped off that an explosive-laden four-wheeler was heading towards Chhakarbandha in Dumaria. Subsequently, we beefed up the security along NH-2 and started checking the vehicles approaching Chhakarbandha,” said Ravish.

The police officials stated that the accused were carrying the explosives. They further said that Rupesh primarily supplies explosives to Maoists. The accused have been charged under Sections 414 and 120B of the India Penal Code, along with other sections under the Explosive Substances Act.

Ipsa, rubbishing all the charges levelled against Rupesh, told Newslaundry, “Rupesh always used to say that when you stand for the causes of poor and the marginalised, the establishment will try to crush you. That’s exactly what happened today. He has been arrested for working on Dalit and tribal issues. There is not an iota of doubt that the police is trying to implicate him in a false case.”

At the moment the accusations are one-sided, as local journalists were not allowed to talk to the accused and had to rely on information provided by government officials. “We requested police officials to let us talk to the accused, but they never agree,” a local journalist said, on condition of anonymity.

Why A 16-Year-Old Boy Refuses To Post Anything On Journalist Jailed In UP



A 16-year-old boy was detained by the Uttar Pradesh police in August last year for his Facebook post on the day former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died. In his post, the teenager had expressed his anger at Mr Vajpayee and alleged that he was involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid. He spent 39 days in custody.

Such is the impact of his time in custody that the boy and family have decided not to post anything on social media over the arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia that has sparked a huge debate on social media on freedom of expression in the country.

In August 2018, the police went to the boy’s home in a village in Meerut, looking for him. Since he was in Delhi then, his father was taken to the police station in Jewar, 116 km away, near Greater Noida.
The teenager surrendered before the police the next day and his father was released.

“I got to know that my post was viral on many RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological) and the Bajrang Dal pages on Facebook. A day later, I got to know that a case had been registered against me. I also heard that people on social media had said that my post should be reported. I had seen the posts circulating. The Hindu Jagran Manch in Jewar filed the complaint,” the teenager told NDTV.

The police sent him to a juvenile justice home for 39 days. He was charged of “promoting enmity between different groups”, “assertions prejudicial to national integration” and “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings” and under the Information Technology Act.

The boy’s 23-year-old brother too was booked for sharing a different post about Atal Bihari Vajpayee and charged for “disturbing public peace” and defamation. But the elder brother was given anticipatory bail.

The 17-year-old, who aspires to be a doctor, recalls the traumatic days and is worried about his future. “It was a horrible time. I stay in a family where nobody indulges in drugs but those in the jail were drug addicts. The food too wasn’t good. Most kids were dependent on drugs and that was very tough on me. I am doing a coaching for NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for MBBS. There is a fear because of my documents have been tainted due to the case,” he said.

But the social boycott that he faced is what has broken him the most. “I got a lot of support from my social circle. But my friends in the village reduced. A communal angle came in.They started thinking that because I wrote against Mr Vajpayee, I am a staunch Muslim. That led to a lot of problems. But friends on social media supported then too and continue do so. They say I did nothing wrong,” he said.

“My non-Muslim friends circle completely boycotted me. They don’t talk at all. But among school friends, some talk to me and some don’t,” he added.19 COMMENTS

The student has now made it a rule not to post anything political, no matter how strongly he may feel about them. He said, “There is fear. My father explained to us that we have to stop political posts completely. Since the arrest of Prashant Kanojia, so many of our friends have been sharing posts using various hashtags. But we aren’t writing anything about it even though Mr Kanojia seemed to have been taken without reason. We don’t upload political things anymore.”