IJU Demands Probe Into Scribe’s Murder & Discarding Charges Against Female Scribes

Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: Indian Journalists Union (IJU) expresses shock over the brutal murder of a young scribe in Bihar and demands a thorough probe into the incident that led to the untimely demise of Buddhinath Jha. The national union of scribes also raised voices for discarding all legal procedures against two female journalists by the Tripura government in Agartala.

The 22-year-old Madhubani-based scribe and a Right to Information activist was found dead on 12 November after he went missing for some days. Buddhinath (also known as Avinash Jha) used to report on many fake medical clinics operating in his locality. He was initially offered some money by the illegal clinic owners, but when he did not respond, they started threatening him with dire consequences.

Meanwhile, two Delhi-based reporters namely Samriddhi Sakunia and Swarna Jha, who were arrested by Tripura police, lately got bail from a local court. They were detained by Assam police in Karimganj locality following the request of their counterpart in Tripura. They came to Tripura to cover the communal violence that erupted in Bangladesh bordering State. They were on their way to come out of Tripura by road on Sunday and planned to reach Silchar. The IJU demanded the charges be dropped.

“We warned in an earlier occasion also that the Tripura government was intimidating a number of social media users including journalists under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. But slapping brutal laws against the opposition voices will not serve the purpose and it would only aggravate the situation,” said IJU president K. Sreenivas Reddy and secretary-general Balwinder Singh Jammu.

Tripura police claimed that the visiting reporters posted ‘fake’ inputs regarding the burning of a mosque in Gomati district a few days back and an FIR was lodged against them. Earlier the State police booked four Delhi-based lawyers under UAPA for ‘spreading’ hatred among various communities. To date, 102 individuals have been booked under the UAPA provisions by the authority as a precautionary measure.

The author is a senior journalist based in Assam and the South Asia representative of Press Emblem Campaign.

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