Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened by the fatal shooting of newspaper reporter Rakesh Sharma in Etawah, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, on 23 August. Five days have gone by since his murder but the police have yet to make any arrests. Sharma worked for the Dainik Aaj newspaper.
“We voice our support for Sharma’s family and colleagues and we urge the authorities in charge of investigating his murder not to rule out the possibility that it was linked to his work as a journalist,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“The investigators must be given sufficient resources to ensure that those responsible for this murder can be quickly identified, arrested and brought to justice.”
Nation News Channel journalist Vikas Sharma told Reporters Without Borders: “His reporting on criminal groups were the reason for his murder.” Rakesh Sharma had repeatedly written about the criminal groups operating in Etawah and elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh, he said.
Shortly after returning home on the evening of 23 August, Rakesh Sharma received a call on his mobile phone, set off on his bicycle for the city’s Bakewar district, and was killed on the way. Police said gunmen ambushed and shot him several times on the Bharthana road.
Police superintendent N. Chowdhary said the murder was being thoroughly investigated and that the source of the last call he received on his mobile phone would be analysed. Five individuals from Etawah are reportedly suspected even if no arrests have so far been made.
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