The editor-in-chief of National Herald, Neelabh Mishra, died in Chennai on Saturday. The 57-year-old journalist was being treated at a city hospital for complications from non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis, PTI reported.
Mishra experienced multiple organ failure before doctors could conduct a liver transplant. “He breathed his last surrounded by his relatives, friends and comrades,” the Hindustan Times quoted the National Herald as saying.
The journalist re-launched the National Herald newspaper as a news website in 2017. The National Herald was launched in Lucknow by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938. However, it had to shut down in 2009 because of financial constraints. In June 2017, the Congress released a commemorative edition of the newspaper in Bengaluru as part of its relaunch.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoled Mishra’s family over his death. “An Editor’s Editor,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted. “A man who spoke truth to power. An institution builder. On Neelabh Mishra’s tragic passing away this morning, my deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and admirers.”
The National Herald has been embroiled in controversy after Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi of conspiracy and cheating in 2012 with the aim to acquire properties and assets owned by the newspaper. According to the BJP leader, the Gandhis provided an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore to Associated Journals Limited, publisher of three newspapers, including the National Herald, and transferred the debt to a company called Young India Limited for Rs 50 lakh. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are the major shareholders in Young India.