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India 13 June 2006

Journalist stoned to death in rural Maharashtra State

A journalist was ambushed and stoned by attackers who left him fatally injured in the rural area of Takalghat near Nagpur in Maharashtra state, central India, on 8 June 2006. Aran Narayan Dekate died in hospital two days later.

Fellow journalists in Nagpur told Reporters Without Borders that his death was very likely to be linked to articles he wrote in the Marathi-language regional daily Tarun Bharat. He was the second journalist to be killed in India since the start of 2006.

Reporters Without Borders called on the Maharashtra state government to carry out a thorough investigation to find those who attacked and killed Narayan Dekate.

"When a government promises to guarantee press freedom, there are no famous or unknown journalists. The police and the courts should put the same resources into the inquiry into this case as they would for a well-known journalist in Nagpur.

“The death of this correspondent in a rural area dramatically highlights the levels of violence against the press in some regions of India, the organisation said.

At least four people ambushed Narayan Dekate as he travelled on a motorbike with a friend on the road between Nagpur and Wardha, hitting him with several stones. He was taken to hospital in Nagpur badly injured and died on 10 June.

Local police who have opened an investigation said the journalist had recently written an article in Tarun Bharat, a paper close to the Hindu nationalist movement RSS, about a scam in the world of illegal gaming . He had also apparently provided the police with information which reportedly helped in the arrest of criminals.




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