A 29-year-old reporter working with the Tamilan TV channel, who was reporting on illegal sale of government poramboke land and on ganja sales in Tamil Nadu’s Kundrathur, was hacked to death on Sunday night. Kundrathur is a suburb in the outskirts of Chennai and falls under Kancheepuram district, and Moses who lived in the area at Puthu Nellore village, focused on local problems. A duo intercepted Moses, who was already facing death threats, and attacked him with sickles leaving him dead in a pool of blood. Following this, Somangalam police have arrested four people of a gang involved in illegal land sale and ganja sales in connection with the death.
Moses used to expose the undercover operations of anti-social elements in the region through the Sirappu Paarvai (Special focus) show on Tamilan channel. Last week, he had reported on ganja sales carried out by a gang in the region and had been facing threats from the group.
Sagayaraj, chief reporter of Tamilan TV and state president of the Working Journalists Union, said, “On Sunday night, a duo intercepted Moses while he was leaving his house and asked him for some directions. Soon his cries filled the air and his father immediately rushed out to see what happened. A duo with sickles was attacking Moses, who fled on seeing his father.”
In the attack, Moses suffered severe injuries to the head and hand and was immediately rushed to the Chromepet Government Hospital. However, he died due to the severe injuries and blood loss.
Talking to TNM, Moses’s father Jesudas, who is also a journalist said, “My son was always vocal about the issues happening in the region. Earlier there was a problem due to land grabbing by a gang and he went there and reported about it.”
“From then on we faced problems and last week he reported that the same gang was involved in ganja sales. Soon he received threats, so he went to the police station and told them about the threats but didn’t give a complaint in writing. That’s what led to this attack,” Jesudas added.
However, Sagayaraj said that the police should have taken action and provided protection to the reporter. He also demanded that the government should provide Rs 25 lakh as compensation and a government job to the immediate kin. He added that the Tamil Nadu government should enact a law to protect journalists.
Meanwhile, Somangalam police have registered a complaint and are continuing their investigation into the case.
Reacting to Moses’ murder, the Tamil Nadu Women Journalists Forum said: “Reporter Moses who was covering ganja sales and land encroachment has been hacked to death in Puthu Nellore. We strongly condemn this. We request Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to take swift action against the accused. Police is responsible for this murder since Moses gave a complaint that there is threat to his life and still there was no action from the police department.”