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UP: Journalist’s Mother Murdered after Rape Bid

Yet, the death of the woman won’t be front page news or topic for prime time debate.

Outrage is a “state of mind”, as someone much celebrated and toasted by the mass media will put it.

After a journalist was beaten to pulp and a few days later burnt to death by policemen at the behest of a ruling party minister in Uttar Pradesh barely a few weeks ago, two policemen set afire a 40-year-old woman inside a police station the same state.

But what is worse that the policemen first snatched her jewellery and then attempted to rape the woman, who is the mother of a young journalist with a local vernacular newspaper.

Various newspapers did carry the story, but reports varied. One common theme was that she was set on fire for refusing a bribe.

While most of reports had cursory mention that the woman, identified as Nitu Dwivedi, was the mother of a journalist, some did not even bother to mention this.

The woman succumbed to burn injuries in the trauma centre of a hospital in state capital Lucknow this morning, latest reports said.

Police, as usual, claimed the woman committed self-immolation, but Dwivedi is quoted as having said in her dying declaration before a magistrate that the policemen took her to a room in the police station, snatched her jewellery and then tried to rape her.

When she resisted, they poured petrol on her and set her ablaze.

The woman’s son is a journalist with a local Hindi daily.

The woman had gone to the police station to enquire about her husband, Ram Narain Dwivedi, who was detained a day earlier after clashes in her Gaha village in Barabanki district following eve-teasing. The policemen first demanded a bribe and later committed the atrocities.

According to district superintendent of police Abdul Hamid, the two policemen were suspended and an inquiry was ordered.

Yet, the victim’s son identified as Santosh, said, “Suspension is not enough, the cops should be punished. The Barabanki Superintendent of Police is being biased and is trying to hush up the case.”

“Tyranny of distance” ensured that news story was buried in the inside pages, the state government’s response was not encouraging.

As expected, an apparently unconcerned minister in the state government, Mr Shivpal Yadav, made a template statement about the incident: “The entire incident will be probed and strict action will be taken against the guilty.”

Mr Shivpal Yadav is the uncle of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who has been mum about the earlier incident as well.

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Journalist’s Murder in a Secular State is No Big News

‘Low-level’ journalists who do not conform to majority views are just collateral damage.

Report in Jagran online about the alleged rape committed by a minister and his henchmen.

Report in Jagran online about the alleged rape committed by a minister and his henchmen.

Indian mainstream media which made an outrageous song and dance for trivial instances like when an abusive journalist was merely shoved around, has preferred to give short shrift to a ‘small-time’, vernacular journalist’s alleged fiery murder by policemen on the orders of a state minister, whose misdeeds he exposed.

The journalist, Jagendra Singh, 42, from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, had exposed a lot of things against the minister, including land-grabbing, illegal mining, etc.

At first, the minister’s associates assaulted him on April 28 2015, but no one was arrested. On May 15, a first information report (FIR) was booked against Jagendra Singh under Section 307 (attempt to murder) and 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The police went to “arrest” him on June 1, but claimed that he went to the terrace of his house and set himself afire.

He succumbed to burn injuries at King George Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow on June 8.

No one in the ‘national’ media thought it fit to report the news at first, but hell was raised by furious family members who refused to perform his last rites unless an FIR was filed against the minister, the cops and his associates. The police had no option and a case was finally registered.

Mr Rammurti Singh Verma, who is the Backward Class Welfare Minister of State (MoS) in the Akhilesh Singh Yadav-led Samajwadi party government, and his aides had been threatening him with dire consequences since long for exposing his misdeeds, the slain journalist’s family alleged.

What was worse, an anganwadi worker had accused this minister of gang-raping her along with his aides. Only a couple of local Hindi newspapers carried this story. Jagendra Singh had also reported this.

The minister (left) and his victim). Photos published by the online edition of The  Independent Independent, London

The minister (left) and his victim. Photos published in the online edition of The Independent, London

The alleged gang-rape occurred in a Public Works’ Department (PWD) ‘guest house’, the favourite haunt of politicians, on April 15. The local police had refused to register a case, but the victim went to court, which ordered an inquiry. The victim also alleged that the minister and his henchmen threatened her with dire consequences if she reported the incident to anybody. (http://www.nyoooz.com/lucknow/115362/state-minister-rammurti-faces-gangrape-allegation)

In both these cases, the officer in charge of the local police station, Sriprakash Rai, has been named as an accused. Mr Rai had threated the rape victim against filing an FIR and in the journalist’s case had poured petrol and set him on fire, it is alleged.

The journalist had repeated his allegations against minister Verma and police officer Rai while being treated in a serious condition in the hospital.

Again, shamelessly, in the MSM, there were only cursory, inside page stories, no prime time mention—forget high-decibel and outrageous debates—on national channels with the usual MSM suspects. Was it “tyranny of distance”? Or was it something else?

This writer looked at quite a few online newspapers. All were cursory police press-release reporting, no mention about the gang-rape at all, except for passing mention in the Hindustan Times (Delhi), which again buried this story on Page 11 as a single column news item.

I also took a look at 1:26 pm on June 10, 2015, and there was no mention on the front page of NDTV’s website, for example. I checked India Today’s website: Zilch (Remember the hell raised by Mr Sardesai and his associates?). Firstpost: Zilch.

Story in an online website from Lucknow.

Story in an online website from Lucknow.

Oh! I forgot, many in the MSM don’t consider some anti-corruption crusaders or social media activists as ‘journalists’ outside their definitions. He ran an ‘online’ Hindi paper and so did not belong to their elite ‘fraternity’.

The alleged shoving around of Rajdeep Sardesai in NY was made a big issue by the MSM. They tried to gloss over the fact that it was this elite journalist who provoked the people and abused them.

But ‘low-level’ journalists who do not conform to the majority views are just collateral damage.

No wonder that the MSM today is the subject of hate, having replaced politicians as Number 1 crooks.

PS: I Google check showed that more detailed reports about the journalist’s murder have been published abroad!

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