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CPI(M) protests against attacks on journalists in UP, demands immediate arrests

New Delhi: The CPI(ML) on Wednesday condemned Uttar Pradesh government over the recent attacks on journalists in the state and staged protests in New Delhi demanding immediate arrests of the accused.

Several party men demonstrated outside the UP Bhawan in the national capital and shouted slogans against Ram Murti Verma, a state minister accused of orchestrating murder of a Shahjahanpur scribe.

 CPI(M) protests against attacks on journalists in UP, demands immediate arrests

Representational image. AFP

The party accused Verma of also being involved in illegal sand mining and land deals, and demanded that he be sacked "immediately".

"We demand the state government immediately arrests culprits and takes strong action against guilty ministers and officers involved.

"We also denounce links between land and sand mafia, ruling politicians and criminals in UP and demand the government stops sheltering such elements," CPI(ML) Delhi committee said in a statement.

It also accused the Government of abetting mechanised sand mining of river beds, which is forbidden. It alleged such illegal activities could flourish only because of nexus between mafias and ruling parties.

"However, when people demand basic rights, their movements are crushed. Now in UP, journalists exposing these mafia elements are being brazenly attacked," the party claimed.

The CPI(ML) also submitted a memorandum of demands to UP Resident Commissioner at the Bhawan.

Journalist Jagendra Singh was allegedly set on fire during a police raid at his Shahjahanpur house on 1 June. He succumbed to his injuries on 8 June during treatment at hospital.

The journalist had reportedly invited Verma's ire by posting reports on Facebook about illegal mining activities and land grabbing against the minister.

A video footage of dying declaration which went viral on news channels showed Singh saying, "Why did they have to burn me? If the minister and his goons had a grudge, they could have beaten me instead of pouring kerosene and burning me."

In another incident last week, Haider, a journalist from Pilibhit alleged he was attacked, as stories reported by him had not gone well with the accused.

PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 17, 2015 17:50:11 IST