The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday sent a notice to the Chhattisgarh government after a journalist from Patrika newspaper was arrested in Bastar. Prabhat Singh was accused of allegedly “making confrontational comments” against a local group Samajik Ekta Manch in a WhatsApp message, and circulating obscene material. He was produced in a local court on Tuesday and remains in police custody. The Indian Express also reported that his WhatsApp message contained material that was critical of local police, and that Singh was one of a few local journalists who was critical of district administration.
Singh’s arrest came soon after Bastar police harassed Scroll.in journalist Malini Subramaniam and after Aam Aadmi Party activist Soni Sori was attacked with a corrosive black liquid in the district. The Samajik Ekta Manch had also protested outside Subramaniam’s house, after which she was forced to leave town.