Veteran journalist Sam Rajappa passed away on Sunday, January 16, in Canada, at the age of 82. A recipient of the prestigious Raja Ram Mohan Roy award of the Press Council of India for his outstanding contribution to journalism, in November 2017, he spent many years of his career in Chennai. His death was condoled by the Madras Reporters Guild. He was reported to have passed away at his son's residence in Canada, the guild had said.
Condoling his death, the guild said that Sam came into the forefront when he covered the controversial death of engineering college student P Rajan in Kerala during the Emergency (1975-77). Rajan's father, Eachara Warrier, had filed a habeas corpus petition when the student was reported to be missing after being taken into custody by the Kerala police. Sam Rajappa was lodged in the same prison where Rajan's friend was locked up, who described the torture endured by Rajan. Sam's article had enabled Warrier to secure justice for his son.
Sam Rajappa had begun his career in the year 1960, with the Fress Press Journal and was associated with The Statesman in various capacities since 1962. He was the head of The Statesman's south Indian bureau for many years and was the founder-director of the Statesman Print Journalism School in Kolkata. He also worked with the Free Press Journal, India Today, and was the BBC's correspondent in southern India, besides a stint with Deccan Chronicle and a consultant editor with Mathrubhumi when it started its Chennai edition. He was also the consulting editor for The Weekend Leader magazine from 2010, the guild stated.
Rajappa hailed from Marthandam in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu and his wife predeceased him. He is now survived by his two sons.
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