National Human Rights Commission sends notice to UP govt over scribe's murder

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the killing of a journalist by alleged sand mafia in Unnao.

In a press statement on Friday, the spokesperson of the NHRC said the commission had taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that states a journalist was allegedly killed by the sand mafia in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district on June 19.

The victim, Shubham Tripathy, was working as a correspondent with a Hindi daily and had been reporting about illegal sand mining in the district. He had apprehended threat to his life from them. Reportedly, Tripathy’s opponents had also lodged a complaint against him with the district magistrate.

The commission has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government through its chief secretary and the director-general of police calling for a detailed report in the matter. The state government has also been directed to get an impartial enquiry into the matter by an independent agency, preferably the state Crime Branch and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to ensure the safety of the family of the victim and the witnesses in the case.

The call details and other forensic evidence gathered during the investigation are to be preserved as the commission might call them during consideration of the case. The response is expected within four weeks, the spokesperson said.

The commission has observed that the news report has mentioned that in many cases, media persons have been targeted by the anti-social elements and in most of the cases, no action against the culprits has been taken by the police authorities. It is the duty of the state to provide adequate safety and security to media persons who, in the public interest, take great risks to highlight the illegal activities prevailing in the society, the commission stated.

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