IJU expresses shock at two scribe’s murders within a week

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Hyderabad, 16th August 2021: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU), while expressing shock at the murders of two young rural scribes within a week in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, demands authentic probes into the incidents with an aim to punish the culprits under the law and also to compensate the victim families with financial aids.

Tv reporter Manish Kumar Singh was found dead in Bihar

The latest sad news broke from Bihar, where television reporter Manish Kumar Singh was found dead after he went missing for some days. The semi-decomposed body of Manish (30), who worked for the Sudarshan news channel, was recovered in  Champaran locality on 10 August 2021. His body was mutilated and both eyes were removed.

Hailed from Paharpur village, the victim’s father (Sanjay Kumar Singh) is also a journalist engaged with a Hindi newspaper. Both his father and Sudarshan channel editor Suresh Chavhanke lodged police complaints, following which two individuals (Mohammad Arsad Alam and Amarendra Singh) were arrested by the police in connection with the crime.

Earlier, another scribe from Andhra Pradesh was killed by two individuals. Chenna Keshav (35), who worked as a reporter with the EV5 YouTube channel, was stabbed to death by a suspended police constable (Venkata Subbaiah) along with Nageswara Rao on 8 August. It is understood that Keshav was targeted because of his series of news reports on corruption and gambling issues.

The accused policeman faced departmental suspension because of media reports on his illegitimate activities. Hence the police assumed that the reporter was intentionally targeted after he was invited for some discussions. Both the culprits were already arrested following a prompt initiative by the Nandyal district police chief and the constable has been dismissed from the service.

“It is so unfortunate to lose two promising scribes to assailants. We urge both Andhra Pradesh government led YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Nitish Kumar led Bihar government to conduct thorough investigations so that the culprits face punishments under relevant laws,” commented K Sreenivas Reddy, president of IJU (https://indianjournalistsunion.org/ ), a committed national union of journalists to safeguard freedom of the press.

It may be mentioned that various global outfits like Geneva-based Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), Paris based Reporters sans Frontiers (RSF), New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Brussels based International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Vienna based International Press Institute (IPI), etc have also demanded punishments to the perpetrators.

“Two Indian journalists namely Ashu Yadav and Sulabh Srivastava lost their lives to assailants during the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, an acclaimed Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now we have lost two more scribes,” said Nava Thakuria, an IJU enthusiast and PEC’s India representative, who also added that the government should consider formulating special protection laws for scribes at the earliest.

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