On Friday, June 19th, 2015, investigative journalist Sandeep Kothari was abducted by three men while he was out with a friend in Balaghat in his home state of Madhya Pradesh. Kothari’s body was found the following evening on Saturday in the neighboring state of Maharashtra. He had been choked and burned to death. The authorities arrested three men in connection with the case, but the authorities must conduct a thorough investigation into his brutal murder and bring all the perpetrators to justice. The government has set up an investigation into Kothari’s murder but has not made any of their findings public.
Sandeep Kothari was a journalist who worked for a local Jabalar-based Hindi newspaper. It is believed that Kothari was harassed by and received threats from the three attackers and others due to his investigative reporting on illegal mining, land-grabbing operations, and chit fund (savings) companies in his home state of Madhya Pradesh. The three assailants are allegedly connected to the criminal activities about which Kothari wrote. His writings and the complaints he lodged against criminals involved in the illegal practices led to Kothari being falsely accused over the course of 12 criminal cases and the harassment of his family.