Gunmen have shot dead a television journalist in northern India, the latest in a string of killings in recent months of reporters in the country, police said Monday.
The reporter, Hemant Yadav, who worked for Hindi news channel TV 24, was returning home from a market in Uttar Pradesh state on Saturday night when he was shot by unknown assailants on a motorbike.
“It seems to be a case of revenge. The deceased was reportedly quite active socially and used to take up various causes of locals who approached him,” sub-inspector Raj Kumar Singh, from the state’s Dheena area where the attack happened, said. “So, it is possible that he could have antagonized someone by his activism, which led to his murder,” he added.
Police said no arrests have yet been made over the 45-year-old’s death.
The incident follows a freelance reporter dying after being doused with petrol and set on fire, also in Uttar Pradesh in June. The victim’s family said Jagendra Singh was killed shortly after he published an article and posted allegations on Facebook accusing a state minister of involvement in illegal mining and land grabbing.
Amnesty International and journalists groups called for an investigation into that killing, saying it underscored the dangers Indian media face in doing their jobs.
India is one of the most restrictive countries for the press, ranked 136 out of 180 nations, according to Paris-based Reporters Without Borders.
Journalists in the world’s largest democracy often face harassment and intimidation by police, politicians, bureaucrats and criminal gangs, while scores work in hostile conditions in conflict-ridden pockets of the country.
A reporter in neighboring Madhya Pradesh state was set on fire and his body later buried also in June, in an attack allegedly ordered by the local mining mafia, local media reported. A reporter for a local newspaper in Uttar Pradesh was severely beaten in August, while another writer was tied to a motorbike and dragged along a road, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.