We have been reading regularly about journalists, editors, and reporters facing threats of murders, kidnapping and so on. Such threats and murders put media, the fourth pillar of democracy, under serious threat. Since 1992, approximately 40 journalists have been murdered.
The future of investigative journalism looks bleak, with India being ranked extremely low on the freedom of press rankings. The North-eastern states have been deemed extremely dangerous for journalists. But it is not just these states, journalists across India are getting threatened. Protection of the freedom of Press is integral to our democratic system.
Let’s take a look at the various journalists that have been killed in India for simply doing their job
He was shot dead under mysterious circumstances at the headquarters of Tripura State Rifles (TSR). As per reports and eyewitnesses, a heated argument between Sudip and TSR trooper, Nandu Reang was the reason for his murder. But however, as per the investigation officers, the exact motive of the killing is ambiguous.
This has been the second death of a journalist in Tripura in the past 2 months. This case has attracted international intervention as well. The UNESCO has condemned the killing of the journalist and has called it an ultimate form of censorship.
The sources close to the case say that he might have been killed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as Ram was the first one to publish an anonymous letter accusing Rahim Singh of rape.
Ram was shot by two men riding a motorcycle outside his house on the night of 24th October and succumbed to his injuries four weeks later. The two men who shot him were identified as the local carpenters.
She ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike which was started by her father. She was shot dead by three people (yet to be identified) outside her residence.
Seven bullets were fired and only three of them shot Gauri. She was known for being a critic of Hindu Extremism campaigning for women’s right, speaking against caste-based discrimination and so on.
He was murdered while covering the Road Blockade (Raasta Roko) by Indigenous People’s Front Tripura (IPFT). He worked for the channel ‘Dinraat’ and was covering a clash at Mandai.
He was found with many stab injuries and died before being taken to the hospital. Although police arrested four members regarding his murder, Shantanu’s father had demanded CBI investigation. The case is under investigation now.
He is believed to have been targeted because of the many articles that he published in Hindustan Daily against Mohammed Shahabuddin. According to his fellow journalists and family, Rajdev was once threatened and had been held at gunpoint.
Convicted murderer Shahabuddin, had written his name on a hit list and his name was seventh on that list. Currently, CBI is looking into the case.
He worked at a Telugu-language daily, Andhra Prabha, under the crime beat covering “Oil Mafia”, a group of criminals who intercept shipments of kerosene oil and gas and indulge in its illegal trading by making it thinner.
He was beaten up by criminals with an iron rod and later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The criminals are yet to be identified. A statement by the Indian Journalists Union said that Shankar was killed for his coverage of the group that engaged in the illegal sale of kerosene oil in the black market.
Narendra Dabholkar was a doctor, rationalist, and president of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, the committee that worked towards eradicating superstition.
He was also the editor of the Marathi language print magazine called Sadhana. Even though he received several threats since 1983, because his rationalistic thinking angered many Indians, he rejected police protection. He was shot by two unknown men while he was out for his morning walk. No further details have been collected regarding the murder, however, based on ballistic reports two men were arrested by the Pune police.