The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) calls on the police in the western Indian city of Mumbai to reveal full
details of the grounds on which senior journalist Jigna Vora was arrested on
charges of conspiracy, murder and involvement in organised crime.
Vora, deputy bureau chief in Mumbai
with Asian Age, was arrested on November 25 on charges of involvement in
the June 11 murder of senior investigative journalist Jyotirmoy Dey. Her arrest came just days
before ten other individuals detained in connection with the murder were
Vora was produced before a special
court dealing with prosecution of organised crime cases in Mumbai on November
26 and was since remanded to police custody. She was transferred to judicial
custody on December 9. Formal charges are yet to be made against her.
The charge sheet against twelve
other suspects in the murder, including two who have evaded arrest so far, was
filed on December 3. Mumbai police have sought a December 20 deadline to
complete investigations against Vora and bring formal charges against her.
out that the nature of the evidence against Vora has never been fully
explained by Mumbai police. There have been several and often contradictory
indications of how she was involved with organised crime syndicates in Mumbai
and abroad, but no suggestion of a credible motive for her involvement in Dey’s
Asian Age issued a formal
statement shortly after her arrest, defending her integrity and vowing to stand
by her. The resident editor of the newspaper in Mumbai, Hussain Zaidi, later
resigned his post as a gesture of solidarity with his detained colleague.
“The IFJ calls on Mumbai police to
follow a policy of transparency in this matter involving a senior journalist,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The strategy of selectively leaking
information and fuelling media speculation could cause serious damage to
journalistic morale as also the credibility of the profession.
“We urge Vora’s newspaper and
colleagues to ensure the highest level of scrutiny over the investigation and
prosecution so that she is afforded every reasonable opportunity to clear her
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific