Press Statement

India: Journalist abducted, tortured, and shot

13 Jul, 2023

On July 1, journalist Shivam Arya was abducted, stabbed, and shot twice by unknown assailants before managing to escape in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) condemn the kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder of Shivam Arya, and call on authorities to ensure that a thorough investigation into the incident is conducted and that the perpetrators do not escape with impunity.

According to reports, Arya received a call on June 30 from a group of unknown people who requested a meeting with him. After refusing their invitation, the journalist was stabbed several times by his assailants outside his home in the Hazira area of the state’s northern city of Gwalior, before being abducted.

Arya was transported to Shikarpura village, where he was confined in a room, with some reports indicating he was forced to consume alcohol. From there, he was driven to Dabra, a small town approximately 44 kilometres from Gwalior, where he was assaulted and tortured.

Following a video call between one of the assailants and an unknown person, one of the kidnappers proceeded to shoot Arya twice, with one bullet grazing his temple and the other striking his thigh. While his assailants were reloading their weapon for a third shot, Arya overpowered his kidnappers and escaped their custody. Following his escape, he managed to find a member of a local community who informed the police

Arya is currently undertaking medical treatment, with staff at a nearby managing to remove the bullet implanted in his skull. Police sources disclosed that Arya’s wife lodged a complaint against one of the individuals involved in his abduction and assault. Reasons behind the abduction are unclear, with reports claiming police believe the incident was motivated by either revenge or extortion. An investigation into the individuals responsible for  Arya’s abduction has been initiated and three suspects have been identified.

The IJU said: “The safety and security of working journalists is at stake throughout the country, including Madhya Pradesh. Journalists are being attacked, harassed, and intimidated by both state and non-state actors and the police must investigate Shivam’s case as a priority to ascertain the reason for the brutal attack and bring the culprits to book immediately.”

The IFJ said: “The kidnapping and attacks suffered by journalist Shivam Arya are nothing short of an attempted killing. The IFJ condemns the abduction, assault and shooting suffered by Arya, and urges authorities to ensure that their investigation into the incident is swift, transparent and thorough.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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