Parcel bomb kills Indian freelance journalist

New York, September 28, 2012–Indian authorities must determine the motive in a bomb attack that killed a freelance journalist in her home on Wednesday and bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Chaitali Santra, who contributed to the Delhi-based weekly Julm se Jang, was killed when she opened a parcel bomb, which triggered a concealed explosive, according to local news reports. The package was delivered to her home in the Howrah district of West Bengal, news reports said. Her husband was severely injured, the reports said.

News accounts reported that police are investigating.

Santra’s mother told the Indian Express that the journalist reported on crime and had made several enemies. “She used to get threatening calls,” she said. Santra was also a member of a local human rights organization and had advocated for a neighbor who was a victim of domestic violence, news reports said. CPJ is investigating the case to determine whether Santra’s death was related to her work.

India placed 12th on CPJ’s Impunity Index, which spotlights countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free. Mumbai crime reporter Jyotirmoy Dey was murdered in 2010, but police have yet to solve the case or even determine the motive. A Tehelka magazine investigation this year accused them of failing to pursue a possible connection with his reporting.

  • For more data and analysis on India, visit CPJ’s India page here.