Sunday, December 3, 2023

UP: Unnao journalist shot at months after complaining of threats from land mafia

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Mannu Awasthi, a journalist in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district was injured in a suspected shooting incident on Saturday night. The shooting comes three months after he said he was being threatened by members of the land mafia.

He was said to be in stable condition.

According to Indian Express, the 25-year-old journalist was riding his scooter in Kotwal police station area at around 10 pm when the incident took place. Awasthi was taken to the district hospital with injuries on his right shoulder. Later, he was referred to a hospital in Kanpur.

“A journalist was shot at. From the crime scene, we have recovered a live cartridge and a used one. Mannu’s scooter is also here. It is locked. We haven’t received a complaint. Mannu Awasthi has been referred to Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital (Hallett Hospital in Kanpur). We will take the strictest action,” Unnao Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shashi Shekhar Singh said to reporters.

In March this year, the reporter had submitted a complaint to the Unnao SP, saying there was a threat to his life by four members of the land mafia. He had also said that a sitting MLA was among those who put pressure on him “because I had done a story on the land mafia”.

The Samajwadi Party and the Congress slammed the state government and saffron party over the incident.

“A young journalist from Unnao had come for my press conference and had said that if he is not given security, he may be killed by BJP people. We are seeing that happen. And last night, he was shot at. A journalist can be shot? You want to usurp land. Is this not worse than the Emergency?” tweeted former UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

“In Unnao, journalist Mannu Awasthi is shot at. Sources said this was done because he was writing against criminals under the patronage of the BJP. Sources also said that the journalist had raised doubts about his safety during a press conference with Akhilesh Yadav. Under BJP rule, if someone wants to write against their goons, their life will be in danger,” read a tweet by Congress UP unit.

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