A day after seeking police protection, an ABP journalist based in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh, Sulabh Srivastava, died under suspicious circumstances on Sunday, 13 June.
The Pratapgarh Police has filed an FIR against unknown persons in the case, news agency ANI reported on Monday.
On Saturday, Srivastava had written a letter to the police and told them that he feared for his life. He had written a letter to the ADG and the SP, demanding police protection, after running a news report against the liquor mafia in the district.
Srivastava was found injured near a brick kiln on Katra road. He died on the way to the hospital. Though the police had revealed in the preliminary investigation report that Srivastava had died due to injuries sustained in a road accident, it is speculated that he might have been attacked.
What Did the Police Say Earlier?
Citing the initial probe, the police had earlier said that the journalist fell after his bike collided with a handpump along the road, according to ANI.
According to NDTV, a senior police official in Pratapgarh, Surendra Dwivedi, had said in a statement, “Srivastava was returning on his motorcycle after work around 11 pm on Sunday. He fell from his motorcycle near a brick kiln. Some labourers lifted him from the road and then used his phone to call his friends. They called for an ambulance too. He was taken to the district hospital where the doctors declared him dead."
In his letter, Srivastava stated that he had covered a story about raids on illegal liquor units, for which the liquor mafia was angry with him. He added that whenever he left his house, it seemed that someone was following him.
Another ABP journalist with Srivastava said that they had gone to cover a story when the accident occurred.
He said, “I took my bike while Srivastava followed me. Then someone called me from my partner’s phone and told me that he had (met with) an accident. We went there and somehow took him to the hospital, but he could not be saved.”
Congress Hits Out at UP Govt
Meanwhile, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hit out at Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s government, saying that “the liquor mafia has killed from Aligarh to Pratapgarh but the UP government is silent (sic)”.
She asked in a tweet, “Does the UP government, which nurtures 'jungle raj', have an answer to the tears of the family members of journalist Sulabh Srivastava?”
Since his death, Srivastava’s letter has been doing the rounds on social media.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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