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Assam scribes condemn murder of UP television journo

MUMBAI: The death of one more journalist by miscreants in Uttar Pradesh has provoked the Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) to reiterate its demand for a national policy for justice to the slain media persons across the country.

The murder of Hemant Yadav, a middle-aged television journalist, has taken the tally of media persons killed in India to four this year.

Yadav, who worked for Hindi news channel TV24, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne miscreants on the night of 3 October at Dheena locality of Chandauli district of UP. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Criticism poured in over the murder of Yadav and lately the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) too condemned the killing. The IFJ general secretary Beth Costa demanded immediate action to bring those responsible into custody. She said that despite being the world’s largest democracy, press freedom currently does not guarantee journalists safety in India.

While demanding visible action from the Akhilesh Yadav government, the forum of Assam scribes expressed dismay that the present scenario, where the murderers of journalists often escape accountabilities, would only encourage the perpetrators to continue their killing spree against the journalists of the country.

JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria said, “We reiterate our demand for a national action plan to safeguard the brave journalists who pursue critical journalism.”

They added that the robust Indian media fraternity must rise on the occasion to compel the authority to punish every single murderer of journalists under the rule of law.

The previous incident of killing of a journalist was reported from Maharashtra when a Thane-based journalist named Raghavendra Dube was killed by some miscreants. Dube, who edited a local news weekly, was beaten and stabbed to death on 17 July. Dube’s killing took place after he had covered a police raid on a night bar.

Earlier this year, two journalists, Jagendra Singh from UP and Sandeep Kothari from Madhya Pradesh, were also killed in separate incidents by miscreants.