Three days after a savage attack on a journalist in Assam, the police are yet to catch the main accused and the outrage is piling up. Milan Mahanta was tied to an electric post and beaten in the middle of a busy road on Sunday in Mirza, 45 km west of Guwahati, by a gang of gamblers and members of the land mafia after reporting about them.
The 42-year-old journalist, who lives in Amranga village just five 5 km from where he was attacked, has been a reporter with the Assamese daily Asomiya Praditin newspaper for 20 years and writes frequently on crime.
“They wanted to kill me, I guess. I had written a series of reports against them. They also tried to attack people who came forward to save me. It has been three days since the incident yet police never came to my home to ask for details,” Mr Mahanta told NDTV at his house.
Local journalists have hit the streets in protest and Mr Mahanta’s family is worried that the attack of Sunday may not be the last. Only one person has been arrested so far.
“A reporter was tied to a pole in broad daylight beaten mercilessly yet the cops are unable to nab the main culprits. We need new legislation to protect journalists,” Mirza-based journalist Niren Mali said.
Mr Mahanta received internal injuries and will have to rest for a few days. His family members are worried but proud of his honest truthful journalism.
“People here will tell you what kind of an honest journalist Milan Mahanta is. He never took money for news. As a family, we admire his dedication,” his wife Tutumoni Das Mahanta told NDTV.
The police said that they are looking for the other suspects. “The main accused is absconding, we are trying to find them. Their mobiles are switched off so we are trying to fetch their locations. Locals say these people have been local rowdies and had been disturbing people,” said SS Hazari, officer-in-charge of Palash Bari police station where Mr Mahanta had filed the complaint.