Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed serious concern over the murder of third scribe this year in Mumbai and demanded visible actions by the concerned authorities. The forum argued that the present scenario, where killers of media persons often escape accountabilities, would only encourage the perpetrators spoiling the space for critical and brave journalism.
It may be mentioned that the commercial capital of India on July 17 recorded the killing of Raghavendra Dube, a middle aged media person, who was found dead in a Mumbai suburb area soon after his assigned coverage of a police raid on a night bar. Two other reporters namely Santosh Mishra and Shashi Sharma also went for covering the police raid and both of them faced assaults from the bar staffers. Dube was reportedly beaten & stabbed to death and his body marked several deep injuries.
Several Maharashtrian media organizations have condemned the killing and demanded actions against the culprits. Meanwhile, the Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) came out with the statement urging the authority for an investigation into the barbaric murder of Dube to ‘shed light on all the circumstances and bring those responsible to justice’.
“We reiterate our appeal to the Indian authorities to establish a national plan for the protection of journalists and other news providers in order to ensure the safety of those who contribute to the public debate in Indian society,” added the RSF statement. It also asserted that the violence against journalists in India usually goes unpunished. Although an alarming number of journalists have been killed in connection with their coverage of corruption, politics, crime or other sensitive subjects, the government has yet to adopt any measures to protect media personnel.
“It is shocking that Dube’s murder was reported soon after the killing of two journalists (Jagendra Singh of UP and Sandeep Kothari of MP) in the month of June this year,” said a JFA statement issued by president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that everyone must work together to improve India’s press freedom index which is presently at 136th position out of 180 countries in RSF list.