- The body of a 22-year-old journalist was found on Friday
- He was kidnapped four days ago
- Buddhinath Jha was a journalist working with a local news portal
The body of a 22-year-old journalist and RTI activist, who was kidnapped four days ago, was found on Friday evening - burned and tossed by the roadside - near a village in Bihar's Madhubani district.
Buddhinath Jha, alias Avinash Jha, was a journalist working with a local news portal. He disappeared two days after he uploaded a Facebook post that named medical clinics that he alleged were "fake". His work had led to the closure of some such clinics and massive fines for others.
During his reporting Buddhinath apparently received numerous threats and offers of lakhs in bribes, neither of which deterred him from his work.
He was last seen around 10 pm on Tuesday - on the feed of a CCTV installed near his home near Lohia Chowk in Benipatti. His house is less than 400 metres from the town's police station.
The feed shows him coming out of his home, which is on a narrow lane, several times from 9 pm, and walking about on the nearby main road speaking on his mobile phone. The feed also shows him going to his clinic (on the same lane as his home) several times while talking on the phone.
The last time he is seen he leaves home at 9.58 pm wearing a yellow scarf around his neck. He walks past Lohia Chowk, past another house and the Benipatti Police Station.
This was between 10.05 and 101.10 pm and he was seen by a man in the local market. After that he seemed to vanish. There was not trace when his family woke up the next day.
His motorcycle was still at home, but his clinic was open and his laptop was on.
It was assumed that Buddhinath had gone out late Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning, for some work, and that he would return. But he did not return.
However, as the day passed his family grew more worried and a written complaint was made with the police, who tracked his mobile phone.
It was found that it had been switched on at 9 am Wednesday in the village of Betoun, which is about 5 km west of Benipatti. On reaching there the police failed to find any further leads.
Another day - Thursday - passed with the police unable to track down Buddhinath.
On Friday, November 12, one BJ Vikas, a cousin of Buddhinath, received information that a body had been found on the highway passing through the Betoun village.
Some relatives and the authorities rushed there to find Buddhinath's body, which was identified by a ring on his finger, a mark on his leg and a chain around his neck.
With consent from the family, the body was sent for an immediate post-mortem, and then handed over to the family. The last rites were performed today.
The shocking incident has generated massive outrage in the area, with several asking how he could have been abducted when his home was just a few hundred metres from the police station.