Skip to main content

'Smashed' by Covid, India second most dangerous country for working journalists

By Nava Thakuria*

Largely smashed by the Covid-19 pandemic the mainstream Indian media has witnessed an alarming number of incidents relating to journalists’ killings this year. As the year approaches the end, India turns out to be an unsafe country for professional journalists after Mexico only. The billion plus nation braces news about journo-murders relentlessly in the second half of 2020.
The latest gloomy news broke from Tamil Nadu, where Telugu scribe G Nagaraj (45) fell prey to the assailants on November 22. Working for Tamil newspaper Villangam, Nagaraj was attacked by a group of goons with sharp weapons in full public view at Hosur locality. Seriously injured, Nagaraj was taken to a nearby government hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead. A native of Palaru village in Andhra Pradesh (AP), Nagaraj was also associated with Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
“Till date, we have documented killings of 80 journalists since 1 January 2020 besides 479 corona-media casualties in 56 countries. The safety of media persons is particularly at risk across the world as they have to continue providing information from the ground. We offer condolences to families of the all deceased scribes,” said Blaise Lempen, general-secretary of Press Emblem Campaign (www.pressemblem.ch), an international media rights body based in Geneva.
Days back, a rural reporter along with his wife was killed in Sonbhadra locality of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on 16 November. Uday Paswan, who was associated with a Lucknow-based Hindi daily died on the spot, where his wife Sheetla Paswan succumbed to injuries next day in the hospital. Earlier another UP scribe Suraj Pandey (25) was found dead on a railway track at Sadar Kotwali area on 12 November. His family members in Unnao locality claimed that the Hindi newspaper reporter was murdered.
Assam’s Kakopathar based television journalist Parag Bhuyan (55) died in a mysterious road accident on November 11 night. The police have already arrested two persons in connection with the incident. The State government in Dispur has already ordered a CID probe into the incident and the police have seized the vehicle (AS 23 BC 7881) that hit Bhuyan and arrested its driver and handyman from Namsai in neighboring Arunachal Pradesh. 
As the year approaches the end, India turns out to be an unsafe country for professional journalists after Mexico only
Bhopal-based television reporter Syed Adil Wahab (35) was found murdered at a forest area on 8 November. Wahab, who used to work for a Hindi news channel of Madhya Pradesh (MP), went missing since the previous day and later his severely injured body was recovered next day by the police. Tamil television scribe Isravel Moses (27) was hacked to death by a group of anti-social elements in Kancheepuram on the same day. Moses succumbed to injuries on way to the hospital.  
Satellite channel Sahara Samay’s reporter Ratan Singh (45) based in Ballia (UP) was shot dead by his neighbours to settle their old property disputes on August 24. Assam’s Tinsukia based television scribe Bijendeep Tanti (32) was found murdered on August 8 at his rented office. MP’s Niwari based journalist Sunil Tiwari (35) was shot dead on July 22. Same day, UP journalist Vikram Joshi (45) succumbed to injuries in the hospital who was attacked on July 20 by a group of goons.
AP’s digital channel reporter Ganta Naveen (27) was murdered at Nandigama locality on June 29. UP’s Unnao locality witnessed a brutal murder of brave reporter Shubham Mani Tripathi (25) on June 19. A born patriot who worked for Kanpur-based Hindi daily KampuMail fell prey to bullets of shooters. He reported on illegal sand mining practices to only invite enmity from criminals which finally turned fatal. Earlier, an Oriya portal reporter Aditya Kumar Ransingh (40) was killed in Banki locality on February 16.
The largest democracy in the world now emerges as the second most dangerous country (after Mexico with 12 confirmed journo-killings till date this year) for working journalists. India witnessed nine incidents of journo-killing last year (75 around the world in 2019), but only one incident could emerge as a case of targeted murder. K Satyanarayana (45) of Andhra Jyothy faced the fate because of his activities as a journalist. He was hacked to death on 15 October.
---
*Northeast India based journalist, country representative to Press Emblem Campaign, Geneva

Comments

TRENDING

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

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. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'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.

Indians witnessing 'regression to Hindutva politics' under Modi ahead of elections

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The forthcoming general election in India, scheduled from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to elect the 543 members of the 18th Lok Sabha and the new Government of India, carries immense significance for the preservation of India's identity as a liberal, secular, and constitutional democracy.