Journalist killed in Mumbai, 2 others assaulted

Mumbai: A journalist summoned by police to get information about a brutal assault on two reporters covering a bar raid was found dead early Friday morning. The two reporters were injured grievously and six bar employees suspected to have carried out the attack were detained.

Journalists Santosh Mishra and Shahi Sharma went to cover a police raid at White House orchestra bar in Mira Road (East) during which 14 dancing girls were rescued and a few employees taken into custody around 1 am on Friday.

After they left, the journalists were chased and brutally beaten up by bar employees, police said. A photojournalist who clicked pictures of the raid managed to escape.

“They charged at us armed with bamboo sticks and bottles. We ran from the bar to save ourselves. Mishra ran towards Kashimira while Sharma ran in the opposite direction,” the photojournalist told Hindustan Times.

He said he spotted a beat chowky barely 100 metres from the bar. “I ran into the chowky and locked the doors from inside,” he said.

When police came to know about the incident, they called another journalist, Raghavendra Dubey, who reached the police station around 3am. There, he had an argument with police officials over how the attack could be carried out so close to a beat chowky. Dubey was assured of necessary police action and left the station around 5 am, police said.

A couple of hours later Dubey’s body was found near S1 Lodging and Boarding in the Mira Road area. The body bore several wounds and a preliminary medical examination suggested Dubey was assaulted with iron rods and died due to severe head injuries.

“We have detained six bar employees in connection with the assault. We are verifying whether Dubey’s death is linked with the same incident,” Rajesh Pradhan, superintendent of police, Thane rural, said.

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