Jyotirmoy Dey was the third journalist in India to be killed in
the past six months, a media watchdog said Tuesday.
There have also been 14 attacks on the Indian media in the same
period. In all the cases, investigations are under way but no
arrest has been made, said Geeta Seshu of the Free Speech Hub (FSH)
of The Hoot.
Dey, a Mid-Day reporter who used to write on the Mumbai
underworld, was shot dead June 11 by four motorcycle borne men.
Sushil Pathak, a journalist with Dainik Bhaskar in Bilaspur,
Chhattisgarh, was shot dead Dec 20 while returning home.
The general secretary of the Bilaspur Press Club, Pathak's case
was later handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation by
Chief Minister Raman Singh following pressure by media groups and
On Jan 23, reporter Umesh Rajput of Nai Duniya was shot dead by
two masked assailants on a motorcycle. A threatening note was
found near the scene of the crime.
It said: "Khabar chaapna band nahi karoge toh mare jaoge" (If you
don't stop publishing news, you will be killed)."
The Free Speech Tracker, set up last year by FSH to monitor
instances of violations of the freedom of speech and expression,
says attacks on journalists and intimidation of editors and
writers continue unabated.
Seshu observed: "The impunity with which these attacks have taken
place only shows that, in India, freedom of speech and expression
cannot be taken for granted."
FSH has listed 14 instances of attacks on journalists.
On Jan 3, Sudhir Dhawale, a Dalit activist and editor of Marathi
magazine Vidrohi, was arrested and charged with sedition and links
with Maoists in Maharashtra.
The same month, Somanath Sahu, reporter of Dharitri, was prevented
from attending a press conference at the office of the Deputy
Commissioner of Police in Bhubaneshwar and threatened with dire
consequences for writing reports that went against the police.
In February, Rajat Ranjan Das, a reporter of Sambad in Orissa,
sustained fractures and head injuries at the hands of alleged
supporters of Saikh Babu, a ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader
from the town.
That month, MBC-TV reporter Kiran Kanungo and cameraperson Prasant
Jena were manhandled by some BJD workers in Banki.
Again the same month, an OTV reporter N.M. Baisakh and his
cameraman Anup Ray were assaulted in Paradeep when they were
covering a protest by locals demanding jobs and compensation.
On May 8, in Itanagar, some people alleged to be supporters of
Arunachal Pradesh Congress chief Nabam Tuki, who is a minister,
attacked several media offices ostensibly to protest a report in a
leading daily involving their leader.
In May, three journalists were beaten up allegedly by Communist
Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters in Burdwan district of
On May 21, unidentified assailants waylaid V.B. Unnithan, a Kollam-based
senior reporter of Mathrubhumi (Kerala), and assaulted him with
iron rods when he was going home.