Bihar: Half-burnt body of missing journalist Avinash Jha found under a tree, was trying to bust fake nursing home scam in his district

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The body of an independent journalist and Right to Information (RTI) activist Buddhinath Jha alias Avinash Jha, who went missing four days ago, has been found in Madhubani, Bihar. Jha had been reportedly raising the issue of private hospital mafias in his district.

A report by a local Hindi daily newspaper, Frontline24, confirmed that the RTI activist Avinash Jha’s half-burnt body, tied and packed in a sack, was found under a peepal tree in the Uren village near Benipatti-Basaith highway number 52 on the night of Friday, November 12.

Bihar Police sources revealed that the autopsy report of Avinash Jha suggests that he died four days ago. Now, after recovering the dead body of the journalist, the Benipatti police have registered an FIR against unknown people and lodged an investigation into the case. Benipatti SHO Arvind Kumar has confirmed that the police are investigating all possible angles including murder. He assured that the criminals would be identified and put to task soon.

According to Hindi daily Jagran, Avinash Jha, a freelance journalist and an RTI activist by profession, was a resident of Benipatti in Madhubani, Bihar. He had been continuously raising the issue of the private hospital mafia and trying to expose the mafia operating in his district. Jha went missing from his residence in Lohia Chowk, Benipatti at around 9.58 pm on November 9.

Avinash Jha’s brother Chandrashekhar Kumar Jha had approached the police after his family tried to search for him at every possible location but could not trace him. They had found both his mobile phones also switched off. Following this, his brother approached the police alleging that his brother, Buddhinath Jha aka Avinash Jha had been kidnapped.

Alleging a big conspiracy behind his sudden disappearance, Chandrashekhar told the police that his brother had been trying to expose the hospital mafia because of which he was kidnapped. He said that his brother had filed many RTI queries regarding the ongoing fake nursing home scam in his district. He had been, for years, trying to bust the nexus of private hospital operators, staff and authorities scamming the people of the district, due to which he was on the radar.

Chandrashekhar named various hospitals and nursing homes which he alleged were a part of the nexus. The hospitals he named were Maa Janki Sewa Sadan Ambedkar Chowk Benipatti, Shiva Poly Clinic Makiya, Sudama Health Care Dhakjari, Anshu Kasht and Center Dhakjari, Sonali Hospital Benipatti, Aradhana Health and Dental Care Clinic Benipatti, Jai Maa Kali Sewa Sadan Benipatti, RS Memorial Hospital Benipatti, Aljina Health Care Benipatti, Sanvi Hospital Nandibhoji Chowk, Ananya Nursing Home Benipatti and Anurag Health Care Center Benipatti.

Chandrashekhar alleged that since his brother had evidence against the operators of these fake hospitals and nursing homes, a conspiracy was hatched to eliminate him.