Skip to main content

6 Indian journos killed in 2019, 2 confirmed while on duty: 49 scribes died in world

K Satyarayana, Chakresh Jain
By Nava Thakuria*
As the year 2019 approaches the finish line, India appears set to improve its journo-murder index with two casualties, where as the northeastern region evades any incident of scribes’ murder for the second consecutive year, though the South Asian region has witnessed confirmed murder of 12 journalists while doing their during the year.
With 49 journalists killed for journalistic works around the world (95 casualties in 2018) till date, India’s confirmed share of journalists killed doing their duty was two, as against six in the previous year. Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Tibet (under China), and Bhutan have not reported any incident of scribe’s murder this year.
Pakistan and Afghanistan topped the list of journo-murders in South Asia as both the countries have lost five journalists each to assailants in 2019. Conflict-riddled Pakistan reported the murder of Zafar Abbas, Mirza Waseem Baig, Muhammad Bilal Khan, Ali Sher Rajpar, and Malik Amanullah Khan for journalistic activities. Afghanistan lost Jabid Noori, Nader Shah Sahebzadeh, Sultan Mohammad Khairkhah, Shafiq Aria, and Rahimullah Rahmani to assailants.
India lost six scribes in 2019, but only two murders are understood as being related to journalism-related activities. Andhra Pradesh-based journalist K Satyanarayana and Madhya Pradesh-based journalist Chakresh Jain faced the fate because of their works as journalists. Four other murders of journalists are yet to be confirmed that they were targeted for their media activities.
Young reporter Satyanarayana, who worked for Telugu daily 'Andhra Jyothy', was hacked to death by miscreants at Annavaram village of East Godavari district on the night of October 15. Local scribes reported that Satyanarayana was targeted in an earlier occasion too and he informed it to the local police. Jain, a freelance journalist died of serious burn injuries on June 19 as he was involved in a quarrel with the assailant at Shahgarh locality.
Others who were killed this year include Radheyshyam Sharma from Uttar Pradesh, K Muhammed Basheer from Kerala, Anand Narayan and Nityanand Pandey from Maharashtra.
Sharma was allegedly murdered on October 10 by his neighbours. Basheer lost his life as a running vehicle, driven by a senior government officer, mowed down him on August 3. A news channel contributor (Narayan) was murdered on June 4 by miscreants and a magazine editor Pandey was killed in another incident on March 17.
A young scribe from Bihar named Pradeep Mandal was targeted by miscreants on 28 July, but he survived luckily. He contributed a number of news items against the local liquor mafia for “Dainik Jagaran” and invited enmities from the goons.
Guwahati-based scribe Naresh Mitra died on December 9 after sustaining head injuries in a mysterious accident inside the city
Meanwhile, a Guwahati-based scribe named Naresh Mitra died on December 9 after sustaining head injuries in a mysterious accident inside the city as the soft-spoken scribe left for home in the evening hours.
India lost six journalists (Navin Nischal, Vijay Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Syed Shujaat Bukhari, Achyuta N Sahu and Chandan Tiwari) to assailants in 2018, whereas the trouble-torn northeastern region evaded murder of any journalist in two years.
Often described as a disturbed zone because of relentless violence engineered by armed militants, the region (except Tripura) has avoided any incident of journalist’s murder for many years. Tripura reported the murder of five media persons between 2013 and 2017, whereas Assam and Manipur witnessed the last killing of media persons (Dwijamani Nanao Singh from Imphal and Raihanul Nayum from Dhubri) in 2012.
Till the recent time, the region was a breeding ground for insurgents fighting against New Delhi with demands for self-rule to sovereignty. Both the States were once severely affected by the militancy, where over 30 separatist armed outfits went on with disruptive activities including extortion, kidnapping, and killings.
For Indian working journalists, the year 2017 is recognized as a deadliest year as 12 scribes (Hari Prakash, Brajesh Kumar Singh, Shyam Sharma, Kamlesh Jain, Surender Singh Rana, Gauri Lankesh, Shantanu Bhowmik, KJ Singh, Rajesh Mishra, Sudip Datta Bhaumik, Naveen Gupta and Rajesh Sheoran) were either murdered or killed in suspicious situations.
Among the casualties, Tripura reported two incidents of journo-murder (Shantanu and Sudip Datta). In 2016, India witnessed the targeted killings of six scribes, whereas the previous year the country lost five journalists to assailants. A satisfactory statistics on journo-murder index was observed in 2014, when the country reported only two incidents of journo-murders.
But the year 2013 emerged a dangerous year for scribes with 11 casualties including three media employees (Sujit Bhattacharya, Ranjit Chowdhury and Balaram Ghosh) from Tripura. Various international media rights bodies including Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) etc. have come out separate reports that we lost around 50 journalists across the world in 2019, which is the lowest death toll in 16 years.
While defining journalists as individuals who cover news or comment on public affairs in print, radio, television, online outlets etc., those organizations maintained that incidents of abuse, assault-attacks and imprisonment of scribes by government forces, political goons, anti-social elements, etc. continue everywhere as over 350 journalists were imprisoned in 2019, whereas China, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Vietnam, etc. have taken the lead.
---

*Northeast India-based media activist

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

BSF should take full responsibility for death of 4 kids in West Bengal: Rights defender

By Kirity Roy*  One is deeply disturbed and appalled by the callous trench-digging by BSF in Chetnagachh village under Daspara Gram Panchayat, Chopra, North Dinajpur District, West Bengal that has claimed the lives of four children. Along the entire stretch of Indo-Bangladesh border of West Bengal instead of guarding the actual border delineated by the international border pillars, BSF builds fences and digs trenches well inside the Indian territory, passing through villages and encroaching on private lands, often without due clearance or consent. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Social justice day amidst 'official neglect' of salt pan workers in Little Rann of Kutch

By Prerana Pamkar*  In India’s struggle for Independence, the Salt Satyagraha stands as a landmark movement and a powerful symbol of nonviolent resistance. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, countless determined citizens walked from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi in Gujarat. However, the Gujarat which witnessed the power of the common Indian during the freedom struggle is now in the throes of another significant movement: this time it is seeking to free salt pan workers from untenable working conditions in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK).

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Jallianwala massacre: Why Indian govt hasn't ever officially sought apology from UK

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller*  The king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, apologized in July 2023 for his ancestors’ role in the colonial slave trade. He is not alone in expressing remorse for past wrongs. In 2021, France returned 26 works of art seized by French colonial soldiers in Africa – the largest restitution France has ever made to a former colony. In the same year, Germany officially apologized for its 1904-08 genocide of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia and agreed to fund reconstruction and development projects in Namibia. .