The Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) strongly condemned the murder of Bengaluru based editor-journalist Gauri Lankesh who was killed by unidentified assailants on September 5 evening.
One of the senior journalists and social activists of Karnataka, Gauri was shot dead at her residence in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Tuesday evening. Gauri, 55, was critical against all kinds of communal forces in the country. She also faced convictions in two defamation cases.
Elder daughter of a noted Kannada litterateur- journalist P Lankesh, Gauri used to receive threats from various extreme forces in the recent past, but she did not bow down. Survived by her mother, filmmaker sister Kavita, theatre worker brother Indrajit with others, Gauri owned and edited ‘Gauri Lankesh Patrike’, a popular Kannada magazine.
Karnataka chief minister and also a senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah condemned her murder and assured proper actions to book the culprits at the earliest. “Apart from non-physical attacks to silence media, as the year 2017 rolls on, India stands at an awkward position over the journo-murder index, as we have witnessed the murder of six professional journalists in the last nine months. Hence, we reiterate our old demand for a special protection law for the scribes across the country,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
Prior to Gauri, Haryana-based television journalist Surender Singh Rana was shot dead on 29 July. Rana, 35, was associated with the Jammu-based news channel JK 24×7 News. The other victims include Kamlesh Jain who was killed on May 31 in Madhya Pradesh; Shyam Sharma killed on May 15 in MP; Brajesh Kumar Singh killed on January 3 in Bihar and Hari Prakash killed on January 2 in Jharkhand.
India lost five journalists to assailants in 2015, which was preceded by two cases in 2014. However, 2013 reported as many as 11 journalists’ murders, as three Northeast media employees – Sujit Bhattacharya, Ranjit Chowdhury and Balaram Ghosh from Tripura – fell victim to the perpetrators.