Arrest Andhra reporter’s killers, IPI tells state government

‘This terrible killing underscores the threat that Indian journalists face’

The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and journalists, called upon the Andhra Pradesh government to immediately arrest the persons responsible for murdering EV-5 TV reporter Chennakeshavalu.

The reporter was allegedly stabbed to death on Sunday night by a police constable and his brother in Nandyal in Kurnool district. The police said constable Venkatasubbaiah had called the reporter for a meeting to discuss a report that Mr. Chennakeshavalu had aired about the constable’s alleged involvement in the illegal sale of tobacco products and gambling in the area.

When the journalist arrived, he was reportedly stabbed with a screwdriver and he succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The accused policeman and his brother are absconding. The police have registered a case of murder against the two.

“Authorities in Andhra Pradesh must immediately arrest those responsible for the murder of Chennakashavalu,” IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “This terrible killing underscores the threat that Indian journalists face when they expose corruption involving government officials and people in power. Impunity for crimes against journalists is extremely high in India and several cases of journalists’ murders have not been thoroughly investigated,” Mr. Griffen said.

Second journalist killed

Mr. Chennakeshavalu is the second journalist killed in India so far this year, according to IPI’s Death Watch. On June 3, Sulabh Srivastava, a reporter for ABDP Ganga TV channel, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh.

Initially, the police claimed that the journalist had died in a road accident but later opened a murder investigation, which is still ongoing. A day before his death, the journalist had written to the local police authorities expressing fear for his life owing to his investigative reports on local liquor mafia.

In 2020, five journalists were killed in targeted attacks in India.

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