यूपी में सपा राज निश्चित रूप से बसपा राज से भी बुरा साबित हो रहा है, अभी जबकि सत्ता में आए दो साल भी पूरे नहीं हुए हैं. खासकर मीडिया वालों के लिए तो यूपी बेहद असुरक्षित और डरावना इलाका बन चुका है. दो महीने में चार पत्रकारों की हत्याएं की गईं. सैकड़ों पत्रकारों पर फर्जी मुकदमे लादे गए और उनके साथ दुर्व्यवहार किया गया. मीडिया वाले अब लोकसभा का इंतजार कर रहे हैं जिसमें वो सपा को झटका दिला सकें.
हालांकि मीडिया वालों के हाथों में सीधे तो वोट नहीं है लेकिन वे अपने जरिए एक बड़े समुदाय को प्रभावित करते हैं. यही कारण है पूरे यूपी में मीडिया वाले सपा के खिलाफ खड़े हो चुके हैं और बदला निकालने के लिए उचित मौके के इंतजार में हैं. मीडिया के लिहाज से यूपी की खराब हालत का जिक्र तो अब अंतरराष्ट्रीय प्रकाशनों में होने लगा है. ''वॉल स्ट्रीट जर्नल'' में यूपी के जंगलराज के बारे में खबर छपी है जिसमें मीडिया वालों के दुख का जिक्र किया गया है. पूरी खबर इस प्रकार है…
Worrying Trend in Journalists’ Murders
By Vibhuti Agarwal
Four journalists have been killed in Uttar Pradesh in northern India in the last two months, according to local police and media groups, raising fears that press freedom in the world’s biggest democracy is increasingly at risk. On Sunday, Rakesh Sharma, a 50-year-old reporter with a Hindi newspaper in the state was shot dead by two men on motorcycle while he was returning home from work, according to Nilabja Chaudhary, the senior superintendent of police in Etawah, the district where the incident took place.
“Prima-facie, it appeared to be a case of personal hostility,” Mr. Chaudhary told India Real Time Tuesday. A comprehensive probe is underway, he added.
In another incident, the body of a local journalist Zakaullah, who goes by one name, was found on Saturday dumped in a jute bag by the roadside in Bulandshahr district, nearly 250 miles from the state’s capital Lucknow, said Nitin Tewari, senior superintendent of police in Bulandshahr in an interview with India Real Time Tuesday.
“It seemed he had been brutally beaten to death since his body had numerous wound marks,” Mr. Tewari said. The case is under investigation, he added.
Separately, a local television reporter Shashank Shukla was found dead in Banda district, 120 miles from Lucknow and another unnamed journalist was found murdered in Lakhimpur Kheri district, 107 miles from the state’s capital, last month, police in the two districts said.
In both cases, police have no clues about the identity of the attackers or the motive for the murders.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a U.S. based eminent journalist body, said 51 journalists have been killed in India since 1992. Out of these, in 29 cases, the motive for the killings has been identified, while in the remaining cases, it remains unclear.
A survey by International News Safety Institute, a U.K. based non-governmental organization for the safety of journalists and media staff, this month listed India as the “second most dangerous” country for journalists after Syria, with six deaths during the first six months this year.
The last time India appeared among the top five worst countries was in 2010, the survey added.
Journalists in Uttar Pradesh are becoming increasingly angry with police for failing to make a breakthrough in the recent killings and have demanded greater protection from the state government.
“It is a matter of serious concern. The killings underline the increasing threat journalists are being subjected to by powerful political and business interests involved in unlawful activities,” said Satyaveer Singh, vice president of the Uttar Pradesh Accredited Correspondents Committee, a local body of journalists.
He said that in recent weeks, there had been several incidents of journalists, “mostly covering politics, business and corruption, being beaten or threatened” by politicians and criminals.
“This is a latest trend,” the local group of journalists said in a letter to the state’s chief minister earlier this week, according to Mr. Singh. “If such incidents continue to happen without being checked, they will certainly act as a deterrent for journalists who are exposed to multiple risks while performing their duties and investigating issues,” the letter said.
Siddharth Kalhans, secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Accredited Correspondents Committee said the state government was “not paying due attention” towards the security of journalists.
“In many cases, journalists had demanded police protection but their demands were unattended,” Mr. Kalhans said.
Journalists in smaller towns and cities cannot write against local authorities, he added. “Otherwise they should be ready to face the consequence,” he said.
In separate incidents this year, a journalist in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh was found dead in February with his throat slit, and in May, a proof-reader of a Bengali newspaper was stabbed to death, according to the INSI.
After the killings in Uttar Pradesh over the last two months, the total number of journalists murdered in India so far this year has gone up to 10.
The INSI survey said Syria was the most dangerous country for journalists with eight deaths between January and June followed by India with six deaths, Pakistan – five, Somalia – four and Brazil – three deaths.
S.N. Sinha, president of the Indian Journalists Union, a New Delhi-based group of leading Indian journalists, said the central government should bring in a law to provide “legal cover” to journalists and ensure speedy trials of cases related to attacks on them.
“Attacks on journalists should be tackled with a strong hand. They must be allowed to work in a secure environment,” Mr. Sinha said.