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Journalist fraternity in Assam has slammed the detention of Dhubri-based journalist Rajiv Sharma in a dramatic manner in the middle of the night on July 16.

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As per family sources, police came at around 2 am on July 16 and took the journalist with them. Sharma works for DY365, a Guwahati-based news channel. Following the incident, the journalist’s ailing father succumbed to ‘heart attack’.

Guwahati Press Club, in a statement on July 16, termed the incident as unfortunate and appealed to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for his intervention.

“We express our grief at the demise of journalist Rajiv Sharma’s father following his (Rajiv Sharma) detention in the middle of the night. As Rajiv has continuously been doing reports on the smuggling of cows across the international border, we don’t want any harassment in the name of investigation. So, we appeal to the CM to look into the matter,” said the statement issued by the GPC.

Rajiv’s colleague Pranjit Saikia said that police machinery is fully involved in Dhubri’s cow syndicate.

“We now request the Union and state govt to initiate a CBI inquiry on this International Cow Syndicate to clear everything. Since long it is an open secret that police machinery is fully involved in Dhubri’s cow syndicate. With a number of corrupted forest officials, presently Dhubri has become a hub of illegal timber, sand and stone business. Need a high level impartial inquiry to find out the culprits and save our forests,” Saikia tweeted.

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Some of the friends of Rajiv, who works for Guwahati-based television channels, said that he had expressed threats for his life from different sections for several days.

Guwahati-based senior journalist Ranjan Lal Sharma said that the way in which Rajiv was picked up from his home like a criminal is very unfortunate.

“He (Rajiv) is not a criminal or a terrorist. These kinds of actions by a section of police officers set a bad example for your government,” Sharma wrote in his Facebook account addressing the CM.

Police in Dhubri said that there was an FIR accusing of ‘extortion’ lodged against the journalist. “The police have taken action after the FIR was lodged. We are looking into it,” said a top police officer of the district.

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