Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expressed shock at the killing of north India based journalist Jagendra Singh and demanded stringent actions against the guilty individuals irrespective of their professional backgrounds and social standings.
The Shahjahanpur-based freelance journalist died from burn injuries at Lucknow Civil Hospital on Monday evening, where Singh (42) was undergoing treatment for severe burn injuries since 1 June 2015. His family members lodged a complaint at the local police station alleging that four policemen along with few associates of Ram Murti Verma, a minister in Akhiesh Yadav’s cabinet set Singh on fire at his residence.
They claimed that Samajwadi Party minister Verma grew enmity against Singh, as the brave journalist with the help of RTI information started posting regular feeds exposing the minister’s corruption & land grab issues on facebook. Before his death, Singh from his hospital bed, blamed Verma for everything as he continued updating investigative reports and comments against the tainted minister. Singh also declared that he got burn injuries when a police team raided his house at Sadar bazaar locality.
Once worked for leading dailies like Amar Ujala, Hindustan, Swatantra Bharat etc, the prolific Hindi language journalist lately turned into an alternate media journalist. Singh left behind his bed-ridden father, wife and three children.
“We demand appropriate actions against the criminals, who eliminated Jagendra Singh to avoid embarrassment because of his regular postings on facebook. The UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav must take up the issue seriously and help punishing those accused personnel, if proven guilty by the court,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
The northeast India based media forum also urged the Uttar Pradesh government to adequately compensate the family of Singh, as he was the only bread-earner of the family. It also extended moral supports to the agitating media persons of the State and appealed to the civil society groups to stand behind the journalist fraternity in its demand for justice for the victim whistle-blower journalist.