The Bihar Post

No country for journalists: Rampaging criminals now assault Telegraph staffer in Bihar, try to kidnap him

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PATNA: Yet another journalist was attacked in the eastern Indian state of Bihar—the fourth such attack on the media people in the past one fortnight, raising a big question mark over the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

Rakesh Kumar Singh, a production manager with the leading Indian English daily The Telegraph was returning home late Friday night when some criminals riding aboard Scorpio dragged him into their car near Raja Bazar in Patna and drove towards Dar Bungalow in a bid to kidnap him.

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Police said the criminals got angry merely after the victim’s Tata Indigo car on which he was traveling along with other colleague, had scratched the attackers’ SUV.

In a fit of rage, the criminals badly attacked him with the butt of their rifles, withdrew cash from his ATM by forcibly getting his password and also smashed his mobile SIM Card.

The attackers fled leaving behind their car in the station road only after it suddenly got stopped and did not start despite their repeated attempts.

The profusely-bleeding Singh was hurriedly rushed to a nearby hospital where he was administered necessary medical aid.

“The criminals assaulted him badly. As such, we failed to identify him in the first look,” one of victim’s colleagues told thebiharpost.

What was further shocking was that the police at the local Shastri Nagar police station did not register case against the criminals and even refused to flash message on the wireless set to nab the fleeing criminals even after request from the victim colleagues.

The Kotwali police have registered a case in this connection based on the statements of the journalist.

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The police have identified the accused persons and are conducting raids to nab them. According to reports, the seized SUV belongs to someone from Madhepura.

Earlier this month, a senior journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, the local district bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan, was shot dead by motorcycle-borne criminals in Siwan while he was returning home after work on May 13.

On May 20, another journalist Rajesh Singh working with another prominent Hindi-language daily Dainik Jagran was threatened by criminals in Nalanda, the home district of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Yet another journalist Hemant Thakur working with another Hindi-language daily Prabhat Khabar was kidnapped, held hostage and badly assaulted by some contractor in Araria district on May 22.

Another journalist working for a Television news channel Akhilesh Pratap Singh alias Indradeo Yadav was killed in Chatra district of neighbouring Jharkhand on May 12.

Journalists remain the soft targets of attacks across the globe.

According to a latest report of “Reporters Without Border”, the media watchdog, a total of 110 journalists were killed in 2015 while doing their work for unclear reasons with India figuring among three top dangerous countries for journalists.

As per the report, as many as nine journalists lost their lives last year while discharging their duty in India, pushing it ahead of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Besides India, the eight other countries where the most journalists were killed are Iraq (11), Syria (10), France (8), Yemen (8), Mexico (8), South Sudan (7), the Philippines (7) and Honduras (7), as per the report released in December 2015.

Image Caption: Wounded Telegraph journalist Rakesh Kumar Singh

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