On June 19, 2020, two assailants shot and killed Indian journalist Shubham Mani Tripathi, a reporter with the local Hindi daily Kampu Mail, in Uttar Pradesh state’s Unnao district, according to news reports and the journalist’s brother, Rishabh Mani Tripathi, who spoke to CPJ over the phone.
According to a complaint Rishabh filed to police on the night of June 19, which CPJ reviewed, Tripathi was returning home on a motorcycle with a friend when he was attacked. He was rushed to a local hospital, but died soon after, the complaint said.
In a statement released on June 23, which CPJ reviewed, Unnao police claimed that local real estate developer Divya Awasthi arranged the journalist’s killing in retaliation for Tripathi’s articles and Facebook posts about an alleged illegal construction project she had undertaken. Authorities demolished that project in response to Tripathi’s reporting, according to the statement.
Also on June 23, police arrested Afshar Ahmed and Abdul Bari, the alleged shooters, and Shahnawaz Azhar, an alleged co-conspirator, according to the police statement.
Police are investigating the suspects for alleged murder, rioting, and criminal conspiracy, according to Hindi newspaper Navbharat Times, which said that police are searching for three additional suspects.