Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed serious concern over repeated murder of journalists in the country and urged the Union government in New Delhi to urgently formulate a national action plan to safeguard the media persons.
The Assam based journalists’ forum, while condemning the murder of journalist Naveen Gupta at Kanpur’s Bilhaur locality on Thursday evening by miscreants, pointed out that with his killing India has lost 11 journalists in the last 11 months.
Naveen, 35, who used to work with Hindi daily newspaper Hindustan was targeted by three motor cycle riders. The injured Naveen was taken to a nearby hospital, but the attending doctors declared him brought dead. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has reportedly directed the UP police chief to nab the culprits at the earliest.
Prior to this, Tripura witnessed the murder of journalist Sudip Dutta Bhowmik on November 21. Sudip, who used to work for a Bengali newspaper was gunned down by a gunner belonging to the Tripura State Rifles. The incident took place in front of TSR 2nd Battalion office at Khayerpur Bodhjung locality.
Earlier, Tripura lost another journalist – Shantanu Bhowmik – to assailants on September 20.
The string of journo-killings in 2017 began with Hari Prakash and the trend continued with the murders of Brajesh Kumar Singh, Shyam Sharma, Kamlesh Jain, Surender Singh Rana, Gauri Lankesh, KJ Singh, Rajesh Mishra among others.
India is ranked 136th among 180 countries in its RSF’s World Press Freedom Index (2017), which is just ahead of its neighbours Pakistan (139), Sri Lanka (141) and Bangladesh (146). The populous country lost six journalists to perpetrators in 2016, which was preceded by five cases in 2015 and two cases in 2014.