Telugu scribe shot dead as India continues to witness murder of journalists
GENEVA/GUWAHATI— A journalist working for Tamil newspaper was killed in southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) last week.
45-year-old G Nagaraj (45) who worked for Villangam fell prey to the bullets of the assailants on November 22.
He was attacked by a group of goons with sharp weapons in full public view in Hosur locality of Tamil Nadu. Seriously injured, Nagaraj was taken to a nearby government hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.
The Telugu scribe wrote a number of articles against the real estate mafia in his locality for the Tamil newspaper which, as the investigating police suspect, invited enmities.
“The year 2020 witnessed the assassinations of 80 journalists till date besides claiming at least 475 media workers in 56 countries by the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety of media persons is particularly at risk across the world as they have to continue providing information from the ground. We offer condolences to families of the all deceased scribes,” said Blaise Lempen, general-secretary of Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), an international media rights body based in Switzerland.
Days back, a rural reporter along with his wife was murdered in Sonbhadra locality of Uttar Pradesh (UP) on November 16. Uday Paswan, who was associated with a Lucknow-based Hindi daily died on the spot whereas his wife Sheetla Paswan succumbed to injuries next day in the hospital.
Earlier another UP scribe Suraj Pandey (25) was found dead on a railway track at Sadar Kotwail area on November 12. His family members in Unnao locality claimed that the Hindi newspaper reporter was murdered.
Assam’s Kakopathar based television journalist Parag Bhuyan (55) died in a mysterious road accident in the night of November 11. The police have already arrested two persons in connection with the incident.
The State government in Dispur has already ordered a CID probe into the incident and the police have seized the vehicle that hit Bhuyan and arrested its driver and handyman from Namsai in neighboring Arunachal Pradesh.
Bhopal-based television reporter Syed Adil Wahab (35) was found murdered at a forest area on November 8. Wahab, who used to work for a Hindi news channel in Madhya Pradesh (MP), went missing since the previous day and later his severely injured body was recovered next day by the police.
Tamil television scribe Isravel Moses (27) was hacked to death by a group of anti-social elements in Kancheepuram on the same day. Moses succumbed to injuries on way to the hospital.
Satellite channel Sahara Samay’s reporter Ratan Singh (45) based in Ballia (UP) was shot dead by his neighbours to settle their old property disputes on August 24.
Assam’s Tinsukia based television scribe Bijendeep Tanti (32) was found murdered on August 8 at his rented office.
MP’s Niwari based journalist Sunil Tiwari (35) was shot dead on July 22. Same day, UP journalist Vikram Joshi (45) succumbed to his injuries in the hospital who was attacked on July 20 by a group of goons.
“The first journo-casualty in India this year was reported from UP’s Unnao locality, where Shubham Mani Tripathi (25) fell prey to bullets of two shooters on June 19. Shubham, who worked for Hindi daily Kampu Mail, reported on illegal sand mining practices in his area and invited enmity from a group of criminals which unfortunately turned fatal,” said Nava Thakuria, the PEC’s country representative in India.
He added that the largest democracy emerges as the second most dangerous country (after Mexico with 12 media casualties) for working journalists. India witnessed nine incidents of journo-killing last year (75 around the world in 2019), but only one incident could emerge as a case of targeted murder.
K Satyanarayana (45) of Andhra Jyothy faced the fate because of his activities as a journalist. He was hacked to death on October 15.
Others who were killed last year include Jobanpreet Singh, Vijay Gupta, Radheyshyam Sharma, Ashish Dhiman, Chakresh Jain, Anand Narayan and Nityanand Pandey.
Kerala scribe K Muhammed Basheer was mowed down by a vehicle. Guwahati scribe Naresh Mitra also died in a mysterious accident. Bihar’s scribe Pradeep Mandal was also attacked by miscreants, stated Thakuria adding that fortunately he survived.