CPJ urges India to probe attack on journalist Pateshwari Singh

CPJ urges India to probe attack on journalist Pateshwari Singh

NEW YORK, Jul 01 (APP): The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent watchdog body, Thursday called on Indian authorities in Uttar Pradesh to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the assault of journalist Pateshwari Singh and ensure that those responsible are held to account.

“The brazen assault on Indian journalist Pateshwari Singh is unacceptable, and Uttar Pradesh authorities must leave no stone unturned in holding the perpetrators and those responsible for planning the attack to account,” Robert Mahoney, CPJ’s deputy executive director, in New York.

“Authorities in Uttar Pradesh must show that they are serious about ending impunity for attacks on journalists,” he added.

On June 29, according to a report, a black SUV hit Singh from behind while he was driving his motorcycle in the Uttar Pradesh city of Ayodhya; five or six men then exited the vehicle and beat Singh with batons and iron rods, threw both of his cellphones to the ground, and fled when passersby arrived at the scene.

Singh, the bureau chief of the Bharat Kanak newspaper and the Ayodhya correspondent for the Jan Sandesh Times newspaper, said in a video that the attackers cited his reporting on Indra Pratap Tiwari, also known as Khabbu Tiwari, a local lawmaker with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and Vikas Singh Deogarh, Tiwari’s associate, saying, “You write against Vikas Singh Deogarh and Khabbu Tiwari. We will not let you live.”

Singh said that he recently published articles critical of the alleged lack of development in Tiwari’s constituency and had previously been approached by an unknown man who threatened to “punish” him for that writing, according to The Telegraph.

But Tiwari denied any involvement in the assault.

The assault comes days after the death of Uttar Pradesh journalist Sulabh Srivastava and state authorities’ opening criminal investigations into journalists Rana Ayyub, Saba Naqvi, and Mohammed Zubair, as documented by CPJ. Last year in Uttar Pradesh, journalist Rakesh Singh died of burn injuries after his house was set on fire, allegedly by a local politician unhappy with his reporting, and Shubham Mani Tripathi was shot and killed after reporting on a land dispute, according to CPJ research.

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