Journalist and Human Rights Defender
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on October 24, 2019 regarding the attack and hacking to death of HRD and Journalist Mr. K. Sathyanarayana, who worked for a Telugu daily newspaper, Andhrajyothi. His work focussed on exposing political corruption and he had been previously attacked, regarding which he had filed a complaint. However, no action was taken by the police then.
As per information, this comes as the fourth attack against journalists in Andhra Pradesh in the recent months and in continuation of a negative stance towards dissenting media by the government. This can be seen in the several statements and policies adopted by Chief Minister Mr. Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy. For example, there are widely circulated videos of him asking reporters of Eenadu and AndhraJyothy to leave the venues of his media briefings after taking a cup of tea and snacks during his padayatra. Mr. Reddy also owns newspaper Sakshi and a TV channel with the same name both of which act as a mouthpiece.
On October 14, 2019, Mr. Sathyanarayana was returning home from work when he was attacked by two unknown assailants on a bike near his residence in Sannavaram village .He was attacked with a heavy weapon, suspected to be iron rods, and died on the spot. There are several contesting views on the reasons of the murder, as the journalist’s family alleges this to be a revenge killing, whereas others say that personal rivalry led to the murder. The district police officials are also now looking into the past complaint filed by deceased journalist where he had claimed a threat to his life.