HRD and Journalist,
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on July 09, 2021, regarding the threats to journalist by the local mining mafia and a case of police negligence. Mr. Saddam Khan is a journalist with the daily newspaper “Jan Sandesh” and frequently writes on the issue of public concern including illegal mining in the area.
Mr. Khan on June 10, 2021, clicked a photograph of a stone-loaded tractor-trolley doubting it to be the illegal transportation of stones, which the area is notorious for. At that time a person, who identified himself as Mr. Komal Yadav, argued with Mr. Khan and stopped him from taking photographs.
Mr. Khan published an article in the “Jan Sandesh” on June 12, 2021, about the illegal mining of stones in the hilly area of Chakiya where DFO Mr. Dinesh Singh’s statement was also included. After the publication, Mr. Khan on June 15, 2021, got a call from Mr. Yadav, who used abusive language and threatened him with dire consequences. Mr. Khan filed an FIR against Mr. Yadav on June 16 in the Elia Police station. Mr. Khan has asked the concern of Station House Officer Mr. Mithilesh Tiwari, multiple times regarding the development of the cases and has always got the response that the police were doing its work and when the police went to arrest the accused, he was not found at his home.
This case is an example of blatant negligence and suspected collusion between the police and mining mafia, against a journalist/HRD. The freedom of expression and information is tantamount important for a journalist and HRD to undertake his duty and such callous response from the police is in violation of the constitutional law which provides for the right to exercise freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 A.