A journalist who was tied to pole in Assam’s Mirza town last week and beaten up by three men said on Wednesday that his attackers wanted to kill him as he had written reports against them, NDTV reported.
Milan Mahanta told the news channel that the accused had also tried to attack the people who came to his rescue. He added that three days had passed since he was attacked, but the police did not come to him for details. The police have so far arrested one person.
Mahanta, 42, works with the Asomiya Praditin newspaper. He had told The Print on Wednesday that his attackers were “goons” involved in gambling and land-grabbing. “I reported on them and they were angry that I brought their activities into focus,” he said. The journalist added that the residents of area were also familiar with their activities.
The journalist also described how the accused surrounded him when he stopped at a shop and started hitting him. “The severe blows made my head spin and, before I could realise it, my hands were tied behind the pole with a cable,” he told The Print.
Mahanta said his attackers told him that they wanted to use him as an example for anyone who dared to go against them. He also told the news website that the attackers had a car ready to take his body away and dump it, after they killed him. “This was an attempt to kill me but it was foiled as the local residents interfered,” he said.
The attack on Mahanta happened less than a week after another journalist, Parag Bhuyan, died in Assam’s Tinsukia district after he was hit by a car near his home in Kakopathar. Bhuyan’s colleagues, however, alleged that he was murdered. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had ordered an investigation into the incident.
Bhuyan worked as a senior reporter for the Pratidin Time group and was also the local reporter for an Assamese daily Axomiya Khabar. Pratidin Time Editor-in-Chief Nitumoni Saikia said that Bhuyan was targeted because he had exposed corruption and illegal activities in the Kakopathar area through his reportage. He added that the police’s delayed response intensified his suspicions.