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Independent Chennai Journalist Sandhya Ravishankar Harassed and Intimidated After Exposing Sand Mafia

Ravishankar says she has “strong reason to believe that the police is colluding with the mining mafia.”

Independent investigative journalist Sandhya Ravishankar filed a complaint against unidentified persons for harassing and intimidating her, once again. This is her sixth complaint lodged with the Chennai police since 2017.

According to reports, Ravishankar faced harassment, stalking and violation of privacy multiple times, after her four-part exposé on the sand mafia last year.

Ravishankar gave details of the recent instance of harassment on her Twitter handle. On Thursday morning, she found that the petrol tube of her bike was cut. Initially, she thought it was a petty case of petrol theft but then, her fuel tank was still full. 

Also read: Another Odisha Journalist Assaulted While Trying To Question BJD MLA From Soro

Ravishankar checked the CCTV footage from the previous night and saw that two persons stopped at her house at 11:43 pm on Wednesday. The men – wearing helmets – were seen fiddling with Ravishankar’s bike. They left after a few minutes but arrivedagain at 11:51 pm and approached her bike once more.

In August this year, Ravishankar had filed a case with the commissioner of police after an online portal called ‘Savukku’ released CCTV footage of her meeting with former DGP Ramanujam in March 2017 at a cafe in Chennai.

After she confronted the owner of the cafe, she was told that footage is only downloaded at the request of the police.

“It is therefore evident that Savukku has received the CCTV footage from the police… I have strong reason to believe that a senior police officer is colluding with the mining mafia in order to follow me, film and photograph me,” she said in her complaint. She added that the police officer was targeting her at the “behest of the powerful beach sand miners in the state” 

 

A Shankar, who was suspended from the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), began the blog ‘Savukku’. Ravishankar said Shankar has been alleging in his blogs that she has taken money from political parties. “This is the same thing the miners have been alleging too. How is it that he is saying the same thing?” asked Ravishankar.

The local police have now stationed two police officers outside Ravishankar’s house and increased patrolling on her street. 

Also read: INS President Urges Govt To Ensure Protection For Journalists

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