MURDER OF JOURNALIST JAGENDRA SINGH
The Mumbai Press Club views with concern and shock the brutal murder of freelance journalist Jagendra Singh by members of the UP police, who acted at the behest of Uttar Pradesh’s minister for backward Classes Welfare, Ram Murti Verma. Jagendra Singh was mercilessly set afire after kerosene was poured on him by the goons, and he died a horrific death on 8 June.
The attack on the journalist on 1 June in Shahjahanpur was organized by the minister after Jagendra Singh exposed Ram Murti Verma in a series of Facebook posts accusing him of involvement in illegal mining activities and land grabbing.
The callous and inhuman approach of the Samajwadi Party government was further exposed when, instead of bringing the culprits to book, the UP Horticulture minister Parasnath Yadav dismissed the incident stating: “You can’t fight nature.” Speaking to journalists in Allahbad, Yadav further said: “There are some incidents that happen in the course of nature and destiny.”
The Mumbai Press Club condemns the horrific murder of Journalist Jagendra Singh and demands the UP government bring the culprits to book, including the two ministers who have participated or tacitly supported the killing. Ram Murti Verma should be arrested, charged and tried for murder, while Parasnath Yadav at the very least must be made to resign from the council of ministers for his insensitive and callous remarks.
The brutal killing of a journalist has left us cold. The public at large must realize the seriousness of the crime and see the incident as an indicator of how much the Rule of Law has eroded in the country. If a journalist is eliminated in broad daylight by the police force acting at the behest of a minister, what is the plight of the common man today? This is another attempt to whip and beat the Fourth Estate into submission, and if this is not countered to the fullest, it will become the norm.
The Mumbai Press Club will do what it can to support the movement of the family and journalist bodies for justice for Jagendra Singh; and we hope to reach whatever financial help we can to the family for the legal and social battle. Those wanting to contribute are welcome to contact us at [email protected].
Mumbai Press Club