Attack on home of critical Indian journalist

New York, April 30, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the attack on the home of an Indian journalist and calls on authorities to take immediate steps to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. Devinder Pal is a critical investigative journalist for the Punjabi-language daily The Punjabi Tribune.

Unidentified assailants early Tuesday morning threw a Molotov cocktail at Pal’s home in Chandigarh, the capital city shared by Punjab and Haryana states, news reports said. Pal was able to put out the fire, the reports said.

Kanwar Sandhu, executive editor of The Tribune, the English-language sister publication of The Punjabi Tribune, told CPJ that no one was injured in the attack. He said police and a forensics team had begun a preliminary investigation.

“We call on Indian authorities to conduct a thorough and efficient investigation into this attack on Devinder Pal’s home and ensure they hold the perpetrators to account,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.

Pal has reported for The Punjabi Tribune for more than five years. He recently wrote a series of investigative reports for the paper about the business interests of extended family members of a high-level government official, according to The Tribune. The reports were published in the days before Punjab state began voting in India’s multi-phased parliamentary elections.

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