The charred body of a 22-year-old journalist and Right to Information activist was found on Friday evening on a road in Bihar’s Madhubani district, NDTV reported.
Buddhinath Jha, also known as Avinash Jha, worked for a news portal in Bihar. The journalist’s family alleged that he had been kidnapped four days ago.
In an investigative report, he had revealed the names of fake clinics in the district. The report had led to the closure of some of the unanothorised clinics and the authorities imposed a fine on a few others.
Jha had received numerous threats and offers of bribes from the owners of the fake clinics while he was working on the investigative report, NDTV reported.
After Jha did not return home in Madhubani district’s Benipatti town on Wednesday, his brother Chandra Shekhar filed a first information report with the police, The Times of India reported. He had claimed that Jha was kidnapped by the owners of the illegal clinics for exposing the wrongdoings.
Benipatti Sub-divisional Police Officer Arun Kumar Singh on Saturday told the newspaper that raids were being conducted in the district to catch those responsible for Jha’s death.
The post-mortem analysis has revealed that the journalist was strangled before being burnt, an unidentified police officer told The Times of India. The officer added that two people, one of whom runs a private clinic, were detained for questioning on Saturday.
Jha was last seen on Tuesday and was captured on the CCTV cameras near his home in Benipatti town, NDTV reported. The next day, the police tracked Jha’s phone after his family alleged that he was kidnapped.
The police found that Jha’s phone had been switched on near Betoun village, 5 km from Benipatti town. But they could not find more information about Jha’s whereabouts in the village.
On Friday, the journalist’s cousin had received information from an unidentified source about a charred body being found by the highway.
“The body was identified by the family members on the basis of a ring he had in one of his fingers, a mole in his leg and charred remains of his red shirt which he had been wearing on November 9 [the day he allegedly disappeared],” the officer said, according to the Times of India.
Since 2010, at least 20 Right to Information activists have been killed in Bihar, The Hindu reported in September.