By Arré Bench Aug. 25, 2020
Uttar Pradesh has been synonymous with “jungle raj” – but things are especially terrible for journalists. Ratan Singh, 42, associated with the news channel Sahara Samay, was shot dead by three men in the state’s Ballia district. The police has alleged that there was a land dispute at play, a theory the family has denied.
Uttar Pradesh has been synonymous with “lawlessness”, “goondaism” and “jungle raj”. In a fresh incident that lends further credence to this belief, a journalist was shot dead by three men in the state’s Ballia district.
Forty-two-year-old Ratan Singh, associated with the news channel Sahara Samay, was shot around 9 PM on Monday near his house. The police has alleged that there was a land dispute at play, a theory that the family has denied.
TV Journalist Ratan Singh shot dead in Uttar Pradesh’s Balia district.
He was associated with news channel Sahara Samay. pic.twitter.com/Pk2XPiy2d1
— Saahil Murli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) August 24, 2020
Ratan’s father Binod Singh told journalists, “There was no property dispute. Please go to the spot and see for yourself. The police are spinning the story.”
Within minutes the news of Balia journalist broke out, police claimed Ratan Singh was killed by Pattidars (relatives) over some issue to keep paddy/husk.
His father says, “Cops are lying. No such paddy/husk is there. Police thana head was in fact present on the crime spot” pic.twitter.com/lDWDSPzgdR
— Kanchan Srivastava (@Ms_Aflatoon) August 25, 2020
The three men allegedly involved in the attack have been arrested. According to additional chief secretary, home, Awanish Awasthi, all three were neighbours of the journalist and the murder was a result of an old land dispute between the two sides.
DIG, Azamgarh Range, Subash Chandra Dubey stated that the murder was not a result of any story or report covered by the journalist. “Preliminary probe has suggested that the two parties had fought over a piece of land in their village in December 2019. Both the parties had lodged a cross-FIR in the case. On Monday, the victim had placed his haystack, which ensued in a verbal spat, following which the opposite party started beating him. To save his life, the scribe ran away from the scene. The miscreants chased and shot at him,” he said.
— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) August 25, 2020
Expressing condolences to the family of Ratan Singh, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the next kin of the journalist and assured action against the accused involved in the murder.
Four persons were arrested in connection with murder of a TV journalist working with a local Hindi news channel. The journalist,Ratan Singh was shot dead on Monday night in #Ballia district. UP CM #YogiAdityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10l to family of deceased #RatanSingh. pic.twitter.com/DPcPfBqZHd
— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) August 25, 2020
Incidents of violence have been the norm in Uttar Pradesh. Last month, another journalist was shot dead in front of his two daughters in UP’s Ghaziabad. Vikram Joshi, 35, was shot days after he had filed a complaint with the Vijay Nagar police station stating that some men were harassing his niece.
A chargesheet has been filed by the police in which 10 people have been booked. Nine of them were arrested within 24 hours and the last accused on August 5. Yogi Adityanath had announced Rs 10 lakh for Joshi’s family too.
Ghaziabad Police files charge sheet in journalist Vikram Joshi murder casehttps://t.co/pkWVWCQZZG
— Hindustan Times (@HindustanTimes) August 14, 2020
Recurring instances of violence raise serious concerns over the state of law and order in the state. Or dare we say, it is Ram Bharose.