Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expressed shock and serious concern over the murder of three journalists in five months (since 1 January 2017) in the country and reiterated its old demand for a comprehensive national action plan to safeguard the scribes and ensure justice to the victims.
The third case of assassination of journalists has been reported from Madhya Pradesh, where Kamlesh Jain was shot dead in his office at Pipliyamandi locality of Mandsaur district on the evening of 31 May. Kamlesh, 42, was rushed to a nearby hospital, where the attending doctors declared him brought dead.
According to the police on duty, two miscreants entered into Kamlesh’s office and one of them shot him. They also fled with their motorcycle soon after the incident. The police have reportedly detained two individuals suspecting their role in the crime.
Engaged with an Indore-based Hindi daily, the journalist exposed few local people involved in illegal liquor trade with a number roadside Dhabas (restaurant) and he even invited threats from them few days back with dire consequences.
“Kamlesh Jain is the third scribe victim this year till date after Hari Prakash and Brajesh Kumar Singh. They pursued critical & courageous journalism and paid heavy prices. Now the question that arises, how many journalists have to die to convince the Union government to adopt a specific protection law for the media persons,” questioned JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria. In a statement, the JFA pointed out that the year started with bad news for the media fraternity as a Hazaribag (Jharkhand) based scribe was reportedly killed in a mysterious situation. Hari, 31, was missing for some days and his dead body was found on 2 January. A law graduate, Hari too used to work for a Hindi daily.
Next day, one more sad news broke from Bihar, as Brajesh, 28, was shot dead at Samastipur locality by some unidentified goons. He received serious injuries on his head and died on the spot. The central Indian State earlier lost two scribes last year namely Rajdeo Ranjan and Dharmendra Kumar Singh to assailants.
India as whole witnessed the murder of six scribes in 2016 and emerged as one of the worst places for working journalists like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Afghanistan, Burundi etc, where journalists are being attacked deliberately and justices were rarely delivered to the bereaved families.
The largest democracy in the globe lost five journalists to assailants in 2015, which was preceded by two cases in 2014. However 2013 reported as more as 11 journalists’ murders in India, where three northeastern media employees (Sujit Bhattacharya, Ranjit Chowdhury and Balaram Ghosh from Tripura) also fell victim to the perpetrators.