An Indian journalist was beaten and later dragged behind a motorcycle in the state of Uttar Pradesh on 13 June, the Committee to Protect Journalist reported. The attack, which occurred just weeks after the murder of freelance journalist Jagendra Singh, was reportedly in response to the journalist's reporting.
Local TV stringer Haider Khan told reporters he was attacked by a group of men as he followed up on a phone tip about an accident.
"Yesterday, I got a call at about 6pm that the witness in a Rs 2.8-lakh robbery case had met with an accident and I should come to the spot. When I reached the spot, I was surrounded by Anand, his son and three or four more people," Khan told reporters, according to the Hindustan Times.
"They then started beating me up. They hit me on my temple with a revolver and then dragged me for 100 meters behind a (motorcycle)," he said.
According to the Hindustan Times, Khan was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Pilibhit police said they had put together a report and were actively searching for four individuals.
The attack on Khan followed the deadly burning of Singh, who was reportedly set on fire after he angered a local politician by publishing corruption allegations against him. As previously reported by IBTimes UK, Singh accused Ram Murti Verma of corruption and illegally acquiring property and mining.
On 9 June, Singh died of severe burns after he had petrol thrown on him and he was set on fire. The freelance journalist made a statement just before his death in which he accused the minister and two police officers for the attack.
The Committee to Protect Journalist called out the Uttar Pradesh government in a statement released on 15 June.
"The government of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, must act decisively to bring to justice the perpetrators of the attack on Haider Khan," CPJ Asia Program Research Associate Sumit Galhotra said. "Coming on the heels of the murder of another journalist in the same state, it's essential that authorities send a message that such violence will not be tolerated."
The government defended Verma, who has been arrested for orchestrating the attack, and said it would not be sacking him, the Indian Express reported. "Some issues have come up. I want to tell you that no minister will be sacked without probe," Cabinet minister Shivpal Yadav told reporters.