India lost third journalist to assailants this year, JFA expresses serious concern

Guwahati: 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.

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