A television journalist died in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, a day after he complained to the police about facing threats from the liquor mafia because of his reportage.
The police said Sulabh Shrivastava, who worked for ABP News, died in a road accident in Pratapgarh district while he was returning home on his bike on Sunday night. But a photograph of Shrivastava’s body showed injuries on his face and his clothes were partially removed, NDTV reported.
“He fell from his motorcycle near a brick kiln and got injured,” Surendra Dwivedi, additional superintendent (East) Pratapgarh, said. The officer added that labourers at the kiln lifted Shrivastava from the road and called an ambulance. He was taken to the district hospital in Pratapgarh, where doctors declared him dead.
Later, the police registered a first information report against unknown persons in the case, reported ANI.
Dwivedi said initial investigation revealed that Shrivastava’s bike crashed into a pole. “A detailed investigation of the case in underway,” the official added.
Shrivastava had told the police on Saturday that he felt he was being followed every time he stepped out of his house since his report on raids on illegal liquor factories in the state.
“The report was broadcast on TV and also published on a digital platform,” Shrivastava said in the letter. “The report is being talked about and some people have said it has upset the liquor mafia. I have heard from sources the liquor mafia could harm me and my family. My family is very scared.”
The journalist urged the police to investigate the threats and provide security to him and his family. According to NDTV, a senior police official in Pratapgarh had directed officials to assess the threats.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra criticised the Uttar Pradesh government for the journalist’s death.
“Liquor mafia from Aligarh to Pratapgarh are performing a dance of death but the Uttar Pradesh government is silent,” she said in a tweet. “Journalists should expose the truth, warn the administration about the danger. The government is asleep. Does the UP government, which nurtures Jungle Raj, have any answer to the tears of the family members of journalist Sulabh Srivastava?”
Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav demanded a high-level inquiry into the death to ascertain why the journalist was not given security, even after he had expressed concerns that he could be killed by the mafia.
Crime Today News | INDIA