Thursday January 24, 2019
Home India Two dozen of ...

Two dozen of their brethren killed since 1992, Indian Journalists ask for New Law to Protect their Rights

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesman, rejected the CPJ findings, claiming there was no need for a separate law

1
//
Representational Image. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Sept 07, 2016: Indian journalists are demanding a fresh law that protects their rights in the wake of a new report that claims more than two dozen of their type has been killed since 1992 in the world’s most populous and renowned democracy.

“It is now extremely important to have some sort of cover for journalists, especially those who are vulnerable – the ones working in small towns, as they do not have the same level of support as journalists working in big cities,” said Jagtap Yadav, a senior journalist from Agra, in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state to Benar News.

“Investigative reporters and cameramen, particularly those covering politics and corruption, are working under constant threats. We need a new law that protects us,” Yadav said.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/771303688728088576

Journalist Kishore Dave, the bureau chief of local daily “Jai Hind-Sanjh Samachar,” was stabbed to death on August 22, 2016, at his workplace in Junagadh, Gujarat, according to Indian media reports. Three suspects were arrested two days later. One of the suspects arrested was involved in a business partnership with and had issues with the journalist, New Delhi Television reported.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Demand grows

Yadav said the call for a new law to protect the rights of Indian media workers began in May after two journalists were killed in Bihar while working on separate stories.

On May 13, two men on a motorcycle gunned down Rajdeo Ranjan, bureau chief of leading Hindi-language daily Hindustan, in the Siwan district of Bihar. A day earlier, Taza TV news channel reporter Akhilesh Pratap Singh was killed in a similar fashion in neighboring Jharkhand state.

The demand for increased protection gained support and attention after the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based international media overseer, released a report on Monday claiming that the Indian government has failed profusely to protect the journalists who were working to expose graft, Yadav said.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

The investigative report by CPJ shows that 27 Indian journalists have been killed during the past 24 years. The CPJ said it found only one case in the past 10 years where a suspect had been charged, prosecuted and convicted for killing a journalist.

Kishore Dave’s killing was not included in the CPJ report.

“As a group, we welcome the CPJ findings. It will strengthen our demand for a new law,” Yadav said.

The CPJ report also noted that India’s disreputably slow judiciary is a concern. “Even if a court hears the case, there will be delays,” the report said.

India, with its population of 1.25 billion people, has more than 30 million cases pending in the court system, according to the latest available official figures.

“It is becoming more and more difficult to work and report on [the] ground, partly because there are no credible institutions that one can turn toward,” said Sonal Mehrotra of NDTV to Benar News.

Mehrotra and a colleague were threatened with violence, abused and maltreated by a group of lawyers while reporting inside New Delhi’s Patiala House Courts for a story related to the arrest of a controversial student leader on charges of sedition in February.

“It is all very ironic as it happened in a court room, which is one of the most important pillars of a democratic society. Shockingly, it took me longer to file a police complaint than it took for the accused to get bail. And not much has moved forward since,” Mehrotra said.

Calls for law to shield press

The New Delhi-based Press Club of India president Rahul Jalali said a law on the books, the Working Journalists’ Act, provides some cover to regular employees of newspapers, but even press associations are “not clear about its exact implementations.”

“We need a new law that covers all working journalists, whether freelance or contractual, so that they are not exploited,” Jalali told in a recent interview. “I have observed that a majority of defamation cases in the past couple of years have been on journalists working for online magazines, which the present law does not protect.”

G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesman, rejected the CPJ findings, claiming there was no need for a separate law.

“I do not agree with the sentiment that there is shrinking space for free speech in India. This [the CPJ report] is mostly propaganda,” he was quoted saying.

“Yes, there have been incidents of journalists being targeted recently, but we have always made it a point to come forward and vehemently condemn such acts of violence [as] journalism continues to be a strong pillar of our democracy,” he added. (Benar News)

  • Arya Sharan

    The media is expected to expose lies and tell truth but when they are the ones who suffer when they do so.

Next Story

Most Positive Buzz In India Created By Google in 2018: Report

YouGov "BrandIndex" also revealed the brands that noted the greatest improvement to consumer perception in 2018. 

0
Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

Google created the most positive buzz in India last year, follewed by Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Google-owned YouTube, international research firm YouGov said on Wednesday.

Google had a Buzz score of 57.2 points, WhatsApp 55.7 and YouTube 52.9 points in the “2018 YouGov BrandIndex Buzz Rankings” in India.

“In the age of digital natives, it is no surprise that the top 10 list has a dominance of technology brands. Noticeably, financial brands have recorded good improvement to their buzz score in the past year,” YouGov India General Manager Deepa Bhatia said in a statement.

Google
The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

YouGov “BrandIndex” measures the public’s perception of brands on a daily basis across a range of metrics.

The rankings are compiled using Buzz scores from the entire year’s worth of data. Buzz scores measure whether people have heard anything positive or negative about a brand during the previous two weeks.

“According to the rankings, we see a surge in the popularity of digital brands and social networks. While the top 3 is dominated by technology giants, social networks like Facebook and Instagram park themselves at nine and 10, respectively,” said the report.

MakeMyTrip was at fourth place, followed by Amazon at fifth spot.

Google, Berlin
Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Philipp Justus, Google Vice President for Central Europe and German-speaking Countries, chat behind a Google logo during the opening of a new Google office in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 22, 2019. VOA

Cab hailing services like Ola and Uber managed to stay in the limelight for a large part of the year and grabbed seventh and eighth position, respectively.

Also Read: YouTube Bans Dangerous, Harmful Pranks From its Platform

Food-delivery platform Swiggy landed at the sixth spot in the top 10 list.

YouGov “BrandIndex” also revealed the brands that noted the greatest improvement to consumer perception in 2018.

In India, Zomato is the “most improved” brand of the past year, followed by Instagram and Kotak Mahindra Bank. (IANS)