NEW DELHI, 24 May: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has condemned the brutal murder of Begusarai (Bihar)-based journalist Subhash Kumar Mahto, allegedly by the liquor and sand mafia on 20 May.
According to reports, Mahto was fatally shot outside his home in Sakho village while he was returning from a wedding dinner with family members at around 8:45 pm. He was shot in the head by four men who immediately fled the scene. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
Mahto was a reporter with a local cable station, City News, and frequently used the Public app to post his reports. His family members said that he was killed for exposing the liquor and sand mafia in his reportage.
In a statement, IJU President Geetartha Pathak and Secretary-General Sabina Inderjit said that the state government must give justice to the family of Mahto by arresting the culprits. “At the same time, it must also set up an inquiry to investigate the criminal activities of the sand and liquor mafia in the state, exposed by Mahto,” they said.
The IJU expressed serious concern over the growing trend of journalists being targeted by both state and non-state actors for their reportage, and demanded that the central government heed to its longstanding demand for enacting a safety law for protection of journalists and safeguarding press freedom.