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Call for swift investigation into Indian journalist's death

(IPI/IFEX) - On February 15, 2013 the International Press Institute (IPI) urged authorities to conduct a swift investigation into the death of a journalist in Tongapal, the tribal Sukma district in the South Bastar area of Chhattisgarh, in central India.

Nemi Chand Jain, a 45-year-old journalist based in Tongapal, was found dead on Wednesday February 13 with his throat slit. His body was discovered on the road in the Leda village of the area, around four kilometres away from Tongapal. A note clipped to his belt accused the journalist of being a police informer, according to investigations by the Times of India.

Reports said that Jain, who worked for the region's Hindi dailies Hari Bhoomi and Dainik Bhaskar, had gone to the weekly market in Nama village on Tuesday February 12 and never returned.

Initial commentaries expressed suspicion of involvement by the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). However, security officials raised doubts over such involvement based on the fact that the style of the crime did not match usual Maoist practices.

The Communist Party today officially denied any connection to the case. Reports said that the Maoists dropped leaflets in the nearby area, claiming that they had no responsibility for the murder.

The death of Jain came only a few days after a previous loss to the journalistic community.

In an unrelated development, Rebecca Davidson, a reporter for the Dubai-based Arabian Radio Network (ARN), died Feb. 8 in a boat accident in the Seychelles. According to the ARN, Davidson was on assignment when the vessel she was aboard struck another boat.

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