A reporter with a Telugu TV channel was thrashed by unidentified miscreants in Andhra’s West Godavari district, allegedly for exposing illegal sand mining operations in the area.
The journalist, Rama Reddy, was seriously injured and has been admitted to the Tanuku Government Hospital.
The reporter worked for Inews and was allegedly beaten on his head and legs with iron rods.
According to the channel, around four people turned up at Reddy’s house at around midnight on Wednesday and knocked on his door.
When he opened the door, he noticed an iron rod that one person had concealed.
He immediately called the local sub-inspector and tried to shoot the incident on his camera, but was thrashed with the rods, after the men threatened him against reporting on the sand mafia.
The neighbours woke up with the ruckus, even as police rushed to the spot, and moved Reddy to the hospital.
However, the accused managed to escape.
Reports add that Endowments Minister Manikyala Rao visited Reddy at the Hospital on Thursday, and assured him of help.
Condemning the attack, journalists and journalist unions across various parts of the district staged protests on Thursday, and demanded that the attackers be arrested.
Many also demanded that the sand mafia that was operating with alleged impunity, be checked.
Some journalists also submitted a memorandum to the police and District Collector K Bhaskar.
Last week, in its annual World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked India at 136 of 180 countries, where freedom of the press was concerned.
The country’s stood at 133 in the previous ranking.
“With Hindu nationalists trying to purge all manifestations of ‘anti-national’ thought from the national debate, self-censorship is growing in the mainstream (Indian) media,” the report had said.
This is also not the first incident in Andhra, where a journalist was assaulted.
In February this year, TDP MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan’s brother and his aides, chased down and thrashed a journalist in full public view on the streets of Chirala.
In a video that surfaced, the journalist was seen being punched, kicked and beaten with a stick by a group of people, after he reportedly published a report on certain financial dealings of Krishna Mohan.