India: Journalist and HRD Amit Topno murdered
January 7, 2019, 4:00 am

On December 9, Topno’s body was found by locals under Ghaghra Bridge within Doranda police station limits in Ranchi. Officer-in-charge Ramesh Kumar Singh, who is charged with the task of the probe, called it prima facie a case of murder.

However, police claim to have no leads. Sujata Kumari Veenapani, Ranchi’s superintendent of police, said that not much headway has been made so far.

“The postmortem report says it is a clear case of murder of the journalist. A bullet had pierced his head right below his ear,” said Sushanto, a political activist. “We are planning to meet the senior superintendent of police of Ranchi to discuss the issue. Given the issues Amit Topno covered in his journalism, the case is serious and we want that probe be carried out under the supervision of a retired judge.”

He and 50 others took out the ‘Justice for Amit’ candle-march from Ranchi University to Albert Ekka Chowk. Those who were part of the march included social activist Dayamani Barla, Tribal Advisory Council member Ratan Tirkey, Jharkhand Adivasi Vikas Samiti president Prabhakar Nag and others.

“We will get the issue raised in the winter session of the state assembly,” Sushanto said.

A group of journalists have also met state home secretary S.K.G. Rahate, and urged him for a high-level probe into the case.

On Friday, journalists and activists carried out a candle-light march in the state capital, pressing for a high-level probe into the murder of Amit Topno – the journalist and video volunteer who reported on the Pathalgadi resistance in Khunti district of Jharkhand.

In the Pathalgadi movement, tribal villages began erecting massive stones around the hinterland, each engraved with different articles from the Indian constitution. Topno covered the movement and violent police action against it.