Sai Reddy, a prominent journalist of Bijapur in south Chhattisgarh, has been killed by unidentified assailants on Friday, district police confirmed.

“Prima facie, Mr. Reddy has been killed by the Maoists, but we can not confirm at this point. It needs further investigation,” said Superintendent of Police (SP) of Bijapur, Prashant Agrawal.

Mr. Reddy went to the weekly market at Basaguda village, close to his house, where he was attacked by a group of men and severely injured, police sources confirmed. He died on his way to Bijapur.

In 2008, Mr. Reddy was arrested by the State police and charged under the Special Public Security Act of Chhattisgarh for his alleged connection with the naxalites, like many other journalists and civil society activists of Chhattisgarh. Later, he was released on bail.

The 51-year-old had a thorough understanding of the issues and problems of Bastar Division and was considered one of the most authentic voices of the region by his colleagues and fellow journalists.

Last February, another journalist, Nemichand Jain, 43, was killed by Maoists. The rebels issued a press release to confirm that a nondescript militia squad of the Maoists killed Mr. Jain.

CPI-Maoist later issued an apology.