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Members of Indians Abroad for Pluralist India honoured Niranjan Takle – a courageous journalist who exposed the mysterious death of Justice B.H. Loya – in Delta on Monday, September 17.

Takle was in Vancouver on the invitation of South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy. He was presented with a medal by IAPI members, including its President Parshotam Dosanjh, Outreach Secretary Rakesh Keshu, Organizing Secretary Sarabjit Singh Baaz, Treasurer Navtej Johal and spokesman Gurpreet Singh.

Takle had published an investigative story on the death of Loya for Caravan magazine in November, 2017. The story was previously ignored by other publications, including The Week magazine for which Takle worked. As a result he had to resign to do the story independently. However, Caravan magazine gave an opportunity to Takle to cover the issue, despite the fact that other outlets were under extreme pressure from the government, and a section of the mainstream media in India has even tried to discredit the story.

In 2005, a Muslim named Shohrabuddin Sheikh was murdered in custody by the Gujarat police. His wife, Kauser Bi, who had witnessed his arrest, was raped and murdered. Amit Shah, the current president of the ruling right wing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) was complicit in the conspiracy. Being a home minister of Gujarat back then, he was in charge of the law and order in the state.

The Supreme Court of India ordered an inquiry into these murders, and appointed a Special court to try Shah and police officers involved.

Justice Loya, who headed the Special Court, was allegedly pressured to give a favourable verdict and exonerate Shah. The story done by Takle revealed that Loya had died under mysterious circumstances, leaving many unanswered questions and raising doubts over the nature of the autopsy and the actions of those who conducted postmortem procedures.

Subsequently, the new judge discharged Shah and others. Takle’s story is based on the interviews he did with Loya’s family, and autopsy documents that point to many gaps. Takle continues to be under surveillance for trying to unearth the truth.

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