On 8 June 2015 Jagendra Singh died from severe burn wounds in King George’s Medical University. Singh had been a journalist for Hindi language media for over 15 years. In this capacity he reported critically on politics and corruption in local affairs for both newspapers on and social media.
Most recently Singh had been reporting on the activities of the Uttar Pradesh state minister Rammurti Singh Verma. The minister was allegedly involved in a variety of corrupt and criminal enterprises within the state. These included illegal sand mining and the amassing of land holdings. In May of 2015 Singh made a post on a journalistic facebook page claiming that Verma had participated in the gang rape of a female Anganwadi worker.
As a result of these articles and reports Singh claimed that he and his family were targeted for harassment by the police and local criminals. On 1 June 2015 a group of policemen and criminals came to Singh’s house in the afternoon and admonished him for reporting against Verma. They then tied him down and doused him in petrol before setting him alight. He died in hospital 7 days later.
The police initially recorded the death as a suicide before agreeing to investigate the case after national and international pressure.