Assam journalist tied to electric pole, thrashed for reporting crime

‘I have been reporting for the past 14 years. What is my crime? That I was reporting against illegal activities and the nexus between those involved in land grabbing and illegal gambling? I am sick now and my body hurts,’ correspondent Milan Mahanta said

Assam journalist Milan Mahanta was tied to an electric pole and beaten up. This image went viral in Assam. Photo: Twitter

A journalist working for an Assamese daily, was tied to an electric pole and brutally assaulted in broad daylight on Sunday (November 15) in Assam’s Kamrup district. He has sustained injuries on the head, neck and ears.

Milan Mahanta, 42, who works as a correspondent for Pratidin, said he was thrashed by goons for reporting on their illegal activities, land-grabbing and gambling.

The image of him being tied and assaulted a group, has gone viral in Assam. The incident happened in Mirza town.

“I had stopped by the paan shop. Seconds later, the goons roughed me up, and while beating me, they tied me to an electrical pole. They had plans to abduct and kill me. There was a vehicle parked nearby to put me inside. They brought cables and cloth. While I was being beaten, they warned me that no one would come and help me, not even the police,” Mahanta told The Wire website.

“They were boasting that they are not scared of police and do not care about journalists. They were brazening and outwardly stated that they had been observing me and what I have been reporting. The fact that it happened in broad daylight has shaken me and the police is yet to catch them despite their faces being clear on the viral photos. If it were not for locals, they would have managed to slip me away. I would have been dead,” he added.

He continued, “I have struggled my entire life. I have been reporting for the past 14 years. What is my crime? That I was reporting against illegal activities and the nexus between those involved in land grabbing and illegal gambling? I am sick now and my body hurts. My friend and neighbours are giving me protection. Even after 24 hours, they are roaming free.”

Mahanta, who lives in Amranga village, which is just 5 km from the place where he was attacked, has filed an FIR at the Palash Bari police station. A case has been registered. Local Mirza residents condemned the incident and protested. So far, only one person has been arrested.

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