Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed shock at the recent killing of a journalist in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and reiterated for its old demand for a special protection law for the working journalists across the country. It also urged the media persons to rise to the occasion and ensure justice to all slain journalists punishing each & every single perpetrator under the rule of law.
The UP journalist named Karun Mishra, who used to work for a Hindi daily, was shot dead on 13 February 2016 at Gosaiganj area for allegedly highlighting the illegal soil mining activities in Sultanpur locality. Mishra (34) was targeted in the broad daylight by the motorcycle-borne shooters, allegedly promoted by the local mining mafia, as he was moving to Ambedkar Nagar. The injured journalist was taken to the hospital, but he succumbed to severe injuries.
Mishra is the first journalist killed in India this year, where as the robust media fraternity of the country lost five journalists namely Jagendra Singh (UP), Sandeep Kothari (Madhya Pradesh), Raghavendra Dube (Maharashtra), Hemant Yadav (UP) and Mithilesh Pandey (Bihar) to assailants last year. The year 2014 reported the murder two scribes (MVN Shankar from Andhra Pradesh and Tarun Kumar Acharya from Odisha) by goons.
“It is shocking that while the Indian media as a whole was focusing on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) anti-national episode, the killers targeted Mishra with an aim to avoid media cries,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding, “We also call upon the Union government to formulate a national action plan to safeguard the brave-hearts who pursue critical journalism at the earliest.”
The UP police lately arrested five persons namely Sandeep Singh, Rahul Singh, Pawan Singh, Ajay Singh and Haider Abbas suspecting their direct involvement with the murder, where as two other alleged individuals (Aman and Mama) remain absconding. The JFA urged the UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to expedite the investigation and book all the culprits under the law.