Saying that it was “appalled by the murder” of freelance journalist and RTI activist Buddhinath Jha, Reporters Without Borders, a media watchdog, has demanded an independent probe into the incident.
According tothe Hindu, Buddhinath Jha, also known as Avinash Jha, was reported missing by his brother Chandrashekhar Jha on November 11. The activist’s body was found at a highway in Bihar’s Madhubani district on November 12.
Jha had been investigating fake clinics in Madhubani and had also revealed their names which had led to some unauthorised clinics being shut down. The report by the Hindu also claimed that police have arrested six people in connection with the case and that “local police on Monday said they were investigating the case from a love affair angle”.
In the report that Reporters Without Orders published on the incident, Daniel Bastard, the head of the Asia-Pacific desk, said, “We call on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to order an independent investigation that sheds all possible light on this appalling murder and identifies the instigators. Impunity for crimes of violence against journalists in India must end.”
The report stated, “According to the RSF barometer that tracks press freedom violations, Jha is the fourth journalist to be killed in connection with their work in the past six months.” It went on to mention the deaths of Raman Kashyap, Chenna Kesavulu and Sulabh Srivastava and that the instigators of these murders are yet to be identified.
India ranked 12 on the The Global Impunity Index 2021. On RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index, India was ranked 142 among 180 countries.
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