Various types of mafia are attacking journalists.
In the past several years, cases of violence and attacks against journalists have increased rapidly in India. It is a matter of great concern that India is no longer safe at all from the point of view of journalists. India is ranked 142nd in the ‘World Press Freedom Index’ of 180 countries. India was on the same ranking in the year 2020 as well. Nothing was done for the journalists.
The day-to-day attacks on journalists are probably pushing this country towards the trough. We cannot deny the fact that if such journalists continue to be attacked, then one day democracy will be in danger. At the same time, atrocities and corruption would be flourishing very easily and this country would be watching everything silently by becoming a mute spectator at that time. After all, who are these people, how are their spirits so high that they kill people who raise every voice.
Here again the question is arising that why journalists who write the truth are beaten up. Is the fourth pillar of our country no longer safe? Every time a report is filed as a show, but its effect is not seen. After all, who will give the accountability that whenever journalists wage a campaign against influential people, why do they have to pay the price for it.
India Press Freedom Report 2021 was as of late delivered by the Rights and Risk Analysis Group. As per the report, 13 media houses and papers were designated in the country, 108 columnists were gone after and 6 writers were killed. Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura top the list of states and union territories where journalists and media houses were targeted in 2021. 24 journalists were physically assaulted, interrupted, threatened and harassed for doing their jobs. All these attacks were carried out by government officials. This also includes police attacks. Of these, 17 were police attacks. 44 FIRs were registered against journalists in 2021. Of these, 21 were booked under section 153 of the IPC. A report also mentions the attack on women journalists. The report describes how women journalists are harassed online and “brutally” targeted while working in the field.
Journalists Geeta Seshu and Urvashi Sarkar have prepared a report on the attacks on journalists during the last five years. Many shocking facts have come to the fore in this report named ‘Getting Away with Murder’. According to the report, it has become difficult for people associated with the profession of journalism to do their work in the last five years. Between 2014 and 2019, 198 serious cases of attacks on journalists have been registered. Of these, 36 cases have been registered only in 2019. The six cases are quite fresh which happened during the protests against the amended citizenship law.
Urvashi Sarkar, an independent journalist who prepared the report, told DW, “One of the purposes of our report was that we wanted to know whether the journalists who were attacked got justice or not. At the same time, we also wanted to know what are the reasons for the attack on journalists, because the journalist stays on the ground and reports the incident only. Is it that journalists are reporting in detail which is hurting a certain power. Urvashi says that there have been cases of attack on the journalist even while reporting any incident. At the same time, journalists sometimes also come under target of illegal mining mafia and politicians with criminal image. Urvashi says, “We found that many types of mafia are attacking journalists like sand mafia, mafia of illegal business. Sometimes even businessmen get annoyed with reporting on corruption and get attacked.
India is the largest democratic country in the world. Where everything happens in a democratic way. But out of the four pillars used to build this democracy, one pillar is bleeding today. Blood is seeping from his cracks. Because the journalists who erected that pillar are being murdered day by day in India, the attacks on them are increasing continuously. A New York-based organization ‘Police Project’ has done a research on the violence against journalists in India. In which it has been told that from May 2019 to August 2021, there have been 256 attacks on about 228 journalists in India. Journalists who report on the ground in remote areas of India have become more victims of these attacks. These journalists have to face many types of violence from arrest to murder and not knowing in fake cases.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in an event that journalists are being campaigned on social media and targeted. However, this statement of Antonio Guterres was in relation to the attacks on journalists internationally. In which he told that between 2006 and 2020, more than 1200 journalists were killed. In 2020 alone, 62 journalists were murdered.
Former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur on Saturday said the media in the country is being attacked in many ways and freedom of the press is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution and journalists should stand to protect it. IPI-India Award for Excellence in Journalism Addressing a charity event, Justice Lokur observed that several incidents, including the registration of FIRs against journalists and arresting them for doing their work, have a discouraging effect on media persons, making them over-cautious. They start working.
There was a lot of ruckus in the press conference of former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s program SP leader, security personnel and workers together attacked the journalists. Several journalists have been injured in this incident. The video of the incident becomes fiercely viral on social media.
Recently, during the protest in Lucknow against the citizenship law, the police had taken the journalist of English newspaper ‘The Hindu’ Umar Rashid to the police station for two hours. Although Umar was introducing himself from the beginning but the police did not listen to him. Umar was sitting in a dhaba with his friends when the police took him to the police station for questioning. However, later the police released him saying that due to misunderstanding, he was brought to the police station.