BALAGHAT: Time and again, we are witnessing the increasing cases of journalists being threatened or even killed for exposing evil practices. In the most recent incident, three people who kidnapped a 40-year old journalist, Sandeep Kothari in Madhya Pradesh burnt him alive after he refused to share details of a land deal, reports said on Monday. (Also Read: Journalist reportedly burnt alive for expressing views against a Samajwadi Party leader in UP. Is media the new target of political parties?)
Additional Superintendent of Police, Balaghat, Neeraj Soni informed that the burnt body of Kothari was found near a railway track where it was dumped in the Butibori forest area in Wardha district of Maharashtra.
Two people have been arrested so far in the case in the alleged connection to the murder. While police suspect Vishal Tandi and Brijesh Duharwal allegedly kidnapped Kothari and set him ablaze, third accused Rakesh Narsvani is still running away.
On June 19, a car occupied with three intercepted Kothari and his friend while they were returning home. The car occupants then kidnapped him and took him to the forest and burnt him alive.
Further revealing details, the police added that the duo arrested has confessed of killing Kothari and also exposed the name of the third person who is still on the run.
“Acting on the statement from the accused, a police team visited the forest area and recovered the body. The deceased’s brother has identified the body,” they said.
According to the reports, Kothari and Tandi hold an old enmity as the two worked as property brokers. “Recently, they had sold a piece of land and they fell out over sharing the commissions from the deal,” police said, adding, “Kothari was previously working for a Hindi newspaper but now he was working as a property dealer and there are 15 criminal cases registered against him. He had served a two prison terms earlier. He was also externed from the district.”
Reports also suggest that Kothari was out on bail for the past two months in rape case.
On the other hand, State Inspector General of Police has declared a reward of Rs 30,000 for the arrest of the third accused.