Journalist and Human Rights Defender
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 25, 2019, regarding the attempt to kill journalist and human rights defender Mr. Pradeep Mandal in Madhubani, Bihar, on July 28,2019 for reporting about issues of illegal liquor trade in the district. Mr.Mandal is a journalist and has long experience in active journalism and currently he is associated with the national Hindi daily ‘Dainik Jagran’ for the past 5 years, in Madhubani district of Bihar. He has also worked with Hindi dailies in the past.
The Bihar government had imposed a complete ban on the manufacture, sale and consumption of alcohol in the state in April 2016 and since then there has been a growing illegal liquor trade by local liquor mafia, which Mr.Mandal had been reporting against.
Mr. Mandal was shot by two men on a motorcycle in Sarsopahi bazar on his way to Hati village from Pandaul on 28 July, 2019 around 9.15 pm. He was shot in the stomach with two bullets and was severely injured. He was rushed to Sarsopahi primary health center by passersby and transferred Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital for treatment keeping in view his serious condition, where he remained for 13 days and for almost for 10 days he was treated in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
A case under sections 307 and 34 of Indian Penal Code and section 27 of Arms Act has been filed in Pandaul police against the two attackers, Mr. Sushil Sah and Mr. Ashok Kamat who have been arrested as well as Mr. Mandal who was later identified as having provided the motorbike for the attack. It is pertinent to note that sources note the direct link between the shooting and a story done by Mr. Mandal who had reported on the two attackers, who were identified as traffickers.