Petrol bomb hurled at editor’s residence in India

Two masked men on a motorbike threw a ‘petrol bomb’ (an improvised explosive device) on the wall of the house of Patricia Mukhim, the editor of The Shillong Times daily, in Umpling area in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya state in India’s north-east on April 17, 2018.

Remnants of the petrol bomb that was hurled at Patricia Mukhim's home. Credit: Facebook/Patricia Mukhim

Two masked men on a motorbike threw a ‘petrol bomb’ (an improvised explosive device) on the wall of the house of Patricia Mukhim, the editor of The Shillong Times daily, in Umpling area in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya state in India’s north-east on April 17, 2018.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attack as an attempt to intimidate the editor; and demands an urgent investigation in order to arrest and prosecute the attackers.

Mukhim heard an explosion and saw flames rising outside her home and found the wall below her bedroom window charred on April 17 evening. No one was injured in the incident. The award-winning editor posted a photo and wrote on her Facebook wall: “Those who did this ugly deed need to be arrested. I heard the explosion and saw the flames rising. It’s a terrible feeling.”

Mukhim had reportedly received death threats on Facebook some months back and had complained to the police and Facebook, but no action was taken. The editor said that someone unhappy with her editorials might have tried to silence her. She has written on issues like unregulated mining and the culture of violence and impunity around illegal mining.

The IFJ said: “The attack at the residence of The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim is a clear attempt to intimidate and silence her voice. The IFJ condemns the attack and urges the authorities for an urgent investigation and punishment to the attackers. Such attacks, if not investigated properly, give rise to imounity for violence against journalists, thus threatening the independence of journalism and the lives of the journalists.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific