A reporter for the newspaper Dainik Jagran, Pradeep Mandal is still in intensive care after being shot twice by two men on a motorcycle on the evening of 28 July in connection with his coverage of alcohol trafficking. He could have died if he had not been rescued by passers-by.
While being taken to the hospital, Mandal named his attackers as two men who were released on bail last week after being charged with trafficking in alcohol.
RSF has learned that his Dainik Jagran colleagues are convinced that the shooting was a direct consequence of the story that Mandal recently wrote about the two traffickers, for whom the Madhubani district police have now issued an arrest warrant.
“We call on Bihar’s chief minister to do everything possible to ensure that this crime does not go unpunished,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “In view of the considerable dangers to which investigative reporters are exposed in the field, we call on the Indian authorities to consider creating a mechanism for protecting journalists.”
India is ranked 140th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.