India: media worker exposing sand mafia intimidated, chargedEvent
- Initial Date
- Jun 16, 2021
- Event Description
Mr. Saddam Khan (26) is a correspondent in a daily newspaper “Jan Sandesh” in Elia, Chandauli, since last five years. He has written articles on various issues of public concern including on illegal mining in the area.
On the evening of June 10, 2021, Mr. Saddam Khan was at the government wheat selling centre in Janakpur-Gandhinagar area, when a stone-loaded tractor-trolley passed by. Being a journalist, Mr. Khan clicked photographs of that tractor-trolley with an intention to further research and publish them in a story in case of illegal transportation of stone. A man riding on a bike along with the tractor stopped him from taking photographs. The man identified himself as Mr. Komal Yadav and had an argument with Mr. Khan. During the argument, Mr. Khan called the SDM Mr. Ajay Mishra to provide information about the tractor transporting stone. Upon hearing the SDM being called on phone, Mr. Yadav rode away hurriedly. On June 12, 2021, news related to this incident was published in 'Jan Sandesh newspaper' with the heading “च"कया म' हो रहा प,थर. का अवैध खनन” (Illegal mining of stones in Chakia). The news article said that despite the administrative vigilance, the illegal mining of stones continued in the hilly area of Chakiya. According to this news article, as soon as dusk settles, tractor-trolleys laden with stones from illegal mining move to different areas of Chakia, Elia and Shahabganj. The entire mafia network is involved in this illegal activity and it is being alleged that the local police is also in collusion. Perhaps that is the reason why the illegal mining mafia are fearless. Villagers alleged that the illegal mining mafia does not fear the local administration. DFO Mr. Dinesh Singh’s statement was also included in the article, who was quoted as saying that two tractor-trolleys had been caught with illegal stones in the past. He
said that the forest department was keeping a close watch on the mining and transportation of illegal stones, however, asked for cooperation from the local police. He also said that the role of the local police was doubtful and questionable but the forest department is making continuous efforts to act strictly against the vehicles involved in such acts, their owners and mafia. On June 15, 2021, at 8 pm, Mr. Khan got a call from an unknown number. The caller identified himself as Mr. Yadav. He used abusive language on the phone, repeating the incident of taking photos, and threatened Mr. Khan with dire consequences. On June 16, 2021, at 10 pm, Mr. Khan filed an FIR No. 0063/2021 in the Elia police station against Mr. Yadav on the above incident in detail, The FIR included IPC Sections 504 Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and 506 Punishment for criminal intimidation. But no action was taken against the perpetrator by the police. Mr. Khan alleges that he sought information about 3-4 times from Mr. Mithilesh Tiwari, SHO, Elia police station on actions taken on the FIR, however, the SHO had one answer - the police is doing its work and the accused person was not found at home when the police went to arrest him.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Intimidation and Threats
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Media Worker
Case shared by FORUM-ASIA member
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 16 June 2021, Saddam Khan, media worker, was threatened via phone call and then booked under for reporting alleged illegal stone mining operations by suspected local crimes network in Chakia, India.