Assailants beat and stabbed Reddy, 51, reporter for the Hindi-language newspaper Deshbandhu, as he left a market in Basaguda village in Bijapur district located in the central state of Chhattisgarh, news reports said. He sustained severe head and neck injuries, and died as he was being transported to a local hospital, reports said.
Reddy possessed a deep understanding of local issues and problems, and was considered a veteran journalist by his colleagues, news accounts said. He covered local issues such as health, education, water supply, food distribution, and corruption, and often criticized the government, Maoist insurgents, security forces, and local police, The Hindu said, citing journalists who knew him.
Police said they believed Reddy was attacked by a group of Maoist insurgents with sharp weapons, news accounts reported. In the days following Reddy's murder, Maoists claimed responsibility, according to news reports. In their statement, the Maoists accused Reddy of being a police informer, but did not substantiate their claims.
In recent years, Reddy had been threatened by Maoists and his house was set on fire, which forced him to flee to a neighboring state, according to The Times of India. He was allowed to return home after issuing an apology to the Maoists, the report said. Reddy had also been harassed by the police around the same time, according to news reports. In March 2008, he was arrested and accused of being linked to the Maoists. He denied the allegations and was later released on bail.
Journalists in Chhattisgarh are often caught in the tension between Maoists and police and security forces, CPJ research shows. Maoists have led an insurgency in the central tribal areas of India for more than four decades.