A journalist, his wife and two children were found murdered at their residence in Madhya Pradesh on 18th February(Saturday). The journalist,Chandrika Rai (42), and his family were found brutally killed in 4 different rooms of the house. Apparently victims were hit on head by a heavy iron object. Chandrika Rai was a freelancer and wrote for dailies Navbharat and Hitavada.
This gruesome incident could not have been without any motive. While police is yet to come out with any substantial evidence, rumors are rife that Rai might have paid the price of exposing illegal mining in the state. Earlier Chandrika Rai had covered a series of stories revealing the illegal mining in Madhaya Pradesh. He had also exposed the political patronage that these mining mafia enjoyed. This might have irked political heavy weights within the state.
Political Parties are trying to cash in this incident to gain political mileage. Congress has accused the involvement of ruling BJP government in the murder. BJP has hit back on congress with severe accusations. While the game of allegation and counter allegation continues, one fails to understand if these are deliberate attempts by political parties to deviate attention from real issues.
This bizarre incident not only questions the freedom of press but also raises serious concern about security of common man. Journalism is considered the fourth pillar of democracy only after Judiciary, legislature and executive. But this incident may act as a major deterrent to free and fair journalism.
Is Indian Media not free to report issues that relate to common man?
Has our political set-up become so corrupt, so as to silence any one who points a finger towards it?
It was only in September last year that an RTI activist Shehla Masood(39) was killed in Madhya Pradesh in broad day light. She perhaps paid the price of exposing corruption and severe irregularities through her RTI applications. As it stands today, nothing substantial was done in that case. And we on our part, managed to push this news to dusty pigeonhole meant for insoluble problems like corruption and poverty. While politician-criminal nexus is well known. Its high time now that we take things into our stride. We should ensure that culprits are brought to book. We can’t let go this issue as we always do!!!
Its NOW or NEVER!!