Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday demanded a swift, impartial and credible probe into the death of a journalist of a private news channel in Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh, who had recently reported on the liquor mafia. The Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday registered a case of murder after the 42-year-old Sulabh Srivastava died here in what appeared to be a road accident.
In a tweet in Hindi, Mayawati said, the terror of the liquor mafia is known to all. The gruesome murder of a TV news channel reporter for exposing their black deeds is extremely saddening. "The government must ensure stringent punishment to the guilty by carrying out a swift, impartial and credible probe," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister demanded.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday had demanded a high-level inquiry into the death, terming it "mysterious", while West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee expressed shock over the demise of the journalist, saying "we are unable to save lives who are working tirelessly towards unfolding the truth".
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra too had hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government, accusing it of "nurturing jungle raj". "The liquor mafia from Aligarh to Pratapgarh: has caused death throughout the state. The government is silent," Gandhi had said.
Superintendent of Police Akash Tomar had told reporters that "Sulabh Srivastava had gone for news coverage to the Kotwali Lalganj area on Sunday and was returning home late in the night. He was found seriously injured near the Sukhpal Nagar brick kiln and was taken to the district hospital, where doctors declared him dead."
His motorcycle rammed into a pole near the brick kiln under the Kotwali police station area in Pratapgarh district, police said. The reporter had recently run a news story against the liquor mafia, and had on June 12 written a letter to the Prayagraj additional director general of police seeking security.
His wife, Renuka Srivastava, in her police complaint said her husband was being threatened for doing a story against the liquor mafia and the Prayagraj additional director general of police was informed about it in writing but no effective action was taken.
"Because of this, unknown mafia elements murdered my husband on Sunday night while he was returning from Lalganj after news coverage," she had alleged in her complaint.