(CPJ/IFEX) - CPJ is expressing its deep dismay over the brutal murder of
Shivani Bhatnagar, special correspondent for the prestigious
English-language daily newspaper "The Indian Express".
On 23 January 1999, unknown assailants entered Bhatnagar's East Delhi
apartment, strangled her with a length of wire, and then stabbed her in the
abdomen with kitchen knives. Bhatnagar had been at home alone with her
three-month old son, Tanmay, who was not harmed. The post-mortem report,
prepared at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, concluded that
Bhatnagar died from strangulation, and police estimated that she was killed
at 3:30 in the afternoon (local time).
Police said that shortly before 3:30 p.m., she had telephoned her husband,
Rakesh Bhatnagar, legal editor for the English-language daily "Times of
India", telling him that two men had stopped by to deliver an invitation to
a wedding in Chandigarh (a city located just 160 miles north of Delhi).
Police said that there were no signs of forced entry, and that the drawing
room table had been laid with snacks as if Bhatnagar was entertaining
Bhatnagar was a member of the special investigations team at the "Indian
Express", and news reports speculated that her killers may have been
attempting to recover certain incriminating documents. Two rooms in the
Bhatnagars' residence - at the Nav Kunj Apartments in Patparganj - had
apparently been ransacked, but police have already stated that robbery did
not appear to be a motive in this crime.
Send appeals to the Prime Minister:
Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's federal intelligence agency, to
take on this case
murder of Shivani Bhatnagar is thoroughly investigated, so that her killers
may be brought to justice
His Excellency Atal Behari Vajpayee
Prime Minister of India
Office of the Prime Minister
New Delhi 110 011, India
Fax: +91 11 301 6857
Please copy appeals to the source if possible.