Journalists are supposed to bring out truths; this service to democracy disturbs crooks’ illicit livelihoods; the goons then try to eliminate the threat
Lately, journalists are threatened, attacked and murdered for voicing their concerns and merely doing their job. Press in India does not enjoy any special power or privilege. Free speech and freedom of the press is at risk and journalists are not secure.
Shujaat Bukhari, Kashmir: June
Earlier this month, on 14 June, the editor-in-chief of Rising Kashmir, was mercilessly assassinated outside his office building just two days before Eid. He was under constant threat and had police protection since the year 2000. Two police officers were deployed for protecting him. They too were gunned down by terrorists. Senior journalist Bukhari was known for promoting peace in the valley.
Sandeep Sharma, Madhya Pradesh: March
In March 2018, this 35-year-old journalist, who used to work with News World (television channel), was run over by a dumper truck in Bhind. In 2017, he had exposed the involvement of Sub-Divisional Police Officer Indra Veer Singh Bhadouria in illegal sand mining in Madhya Pradesh. The driver was arrested for “causing death due to negligence”, but many see it as a conspiracy. Sharma had asked for police protection as he feared for his life after conducting a sting in which Bhadouria was caught taking the bribe. He was denied police protection.
Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh, Bihar: March
This duo worked at Dainik Bhaskar. In March 2018, they were run down by a car driven by Mohammad Harsu, a former village head, and his son. The trio had had an argument earlier in the day due to their reporting on local politics.
Sudip Dutta Bhaumik, Tripura: November 2017
The 49-year-old senior journalist was working as an editor for a vernacular daily Syandan Patrikaand. A week before his death, he exposed financial irregularities and corruption within the police force. He was shot dead outside the office of Tapan Debbarma, a commandant in the Tripura State Rifles Paramilitary Force, who had called Bhaumik for some clarification regarding the article he had written. They had an argument, following which his rifleman Dharmendra Kumar Singh allegedly shot the journalist. Police arrested the commandant and the rifleman on charges of criminal conspiracy.
Shantanu Bhaumik, Tripura: September 2017
In September 2017, reporter of Din-Raat, a local TV cable news channel, was killed while he had gone to cover a clash between CPI(M) and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) supporters in Mandai. The IPFT members attacked and killed him with sticks and weapons as he was covering the political unrest in the rally. The police later arrested a few members of the IPFT.
Gauri Lankesh, Bengaluru: September 2017
This 55-year-old journalist-turned-activist, editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, a weekly publication. She was popularly known as a critic of right-wing groups — while she was critical of the left, too, off and on — was murdered in front of her house in September 2017, following death threats. Her last post on Facebook condemned the deportation of Rohingya refugees by the Indian government.
Rajdev Ranjan, Bihar: September 2017
The 42-year-old Rajdev, bureau chief of Hindi newspaper Hindustan, was shot dead by two people on a motorcycle. Extensive coverage of local politics and crime, including reports on court proceedings against former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin which irked the leader. He was constantly receiving death threats from local goons.
Akshay Singh, New Delhi: July 2015
In July 2015, 38-year old TV journalist Singh working for Aaj Tak, died a mysterious death covering Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh. Vyapam is a recruitment and admission board for getting into government jobs and colleges. Singh was captured frothing at the mouth after an interview he conducted in Damor to investigate the scam. He was just another pawn among 35 others who were silenced mysteriously to cover up the multi-crore scam which involved many powerful people.
Indradev Yadav, Jharkhand: May 2016
This 45-year-old scribe was shot dead by unidentified men near his home in the Naxal prone Chatra district. He worked as a local correspondent for Kolkata-based Hindi news channel Taaza TV. He extensively reported on corruption.
Hemant Yadav, Uttar Pradesh: October 2015
Some unidentified motorcyclists shot this journalist, 45, dead and fled the spot. Yadav used to help locals actively in resolving social issues, which might have disturbed the power centres of the region, it is suspected.
Jagendra Singh, Uttar Pradesh: June 2015
Singh was a freelance journalist from Uttar Pradesh who was burnt alive at his residence in 2015. He was a big critic of the government in the state of Uttar Pradesh and wrote about UP Minister Ram Murti Verma regarding corruption and gang rape of an Anganwadi worker allegedly by the minister. He was booked for murder, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy.
Jyotirmoy Dey, Mumbai: June 2011
In June 2011, 56-year-old crime and investigations editor for Mid-day was shot dead by some unidentified shooters on a motorcycle. He was reporting on oil mafia and underworld don Chhota Rajan. Rajan and 8 others were convicted for Dey’s murder by a special MCOCA court in Mumbai in 2018 while Jigna Vora was acquitted. According to Mumbai police, Jigna Vora of Asian age had a professional rivalry with Dey. She allegedly shared his work address as well as number plate of his motorcycle. Vora was let off as she’s a single mother.
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Last Updated Jul 7, 2018, 11:57 AM IST