NEW DELHI: Police in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Monday said they had arrested a man in connection with a new wave of attacks on journalists, which included the murder of an online magazine editor in the state.
The state’s chief minister, M Karunanidhi, said the man, who had been in custody since the weekend, had confessed to killing the magazine’s editor, Gyan Sudarsan, in the northern state of Bihar.
“This man is the head of the gang that attacked the editor of the Tamil-language magazine Aangadhi and the man responsible for the murder was arrested yesterday,” Karunamalayudhi said in a statement.
Sudarsan was shot in the head on Sunday and died later.
The attack on Aangadhiyam magazine has also sparked fears that the region could be on the brink of a civil war, as separatists seek to wrest control of the northeast.
“There has been a lot of bloodshed and intimidation, and a lot is being done to intimidate our journalists,” Karuncur said.
Police were investigating the killing of Sudarsas mother in Chhattisgarh.
“We have detained two persons in connection to this incident,” the police commissioner, D K Mani, said.
The killings of Sudans mother and the editor were a reminder of the brutal crackdown by security forces on the Tamil media in 2009 and 2010 that was followed by a crackdown by separatists.
Authorities have not revealed the motive for the killings but said the killing was linked to the newspaper’s coverage of protests against the construction of the Ram temple in Chikkambaram, the state capital.
The killing of a journalist in Bihar has also heightened the risk of civil war.