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Petition to protect journalist gets wide support

Sandhya Ravishankar is under threat for exposing the sand mafia in Tamil Nadu

Gulf News

New Delhi: Around a thousand people have signed a petition seeking protection for independent journalist Sandhya Ravishankar, who is under threat for exposing the sand mafia in Tamil Nadu, a rights body said on Monday in a statement.

“Magsaysay award winners, musician T.M. Krishna, social activist Aruna Roy and Professor Lakshmanan are among those who have signed a petition started by friends of Sandhya concerned about her safety following the threats to her,” a statement from a consortium of several civil societies working for transparency and judicial accountability in the country said.

The Chennai-based journalist in a series of articles written for the online new website had exposed the “illegal sand mining” racket rampant in the state. In doing that, she also detailed the rise to the top of ace mining-baron S. Vaikundarajan — “country’s largest miner and exporter of rare earth minerals”.

After Ravishankar targeted Vaikundarajan, she began to get abusive, anonymous calls, threatening her of dire consequences.

However, she hasn’t found herself alone and is getting support from civil society members, who have voiced their concern by being signatories to a petition started by her friends.