IJU condemns shooting down of two journalists14 May, 2016
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU), the premier and most representative organisation of working journalists in the country, strongly condemned the shooting down of two journalists in last two days, Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan at Siwan, Bihar on Friday and Akhilesh Pratap Singh at Dewari village in Chatra district of Jharkhand on Thursday.
In a statement issued here on Saturday, Indian Journalists Union (IJU) President S N Sinha, Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli and Press Council of India (PCI) member K Amarnath alleged that the two journalists were killed by goons of the politico-criminal mafia for their courageous exposure of their corrupt and criminal activities through their reportage in their newspaper and TV Channel respectively.
Terming the reporters as martyrs in the cause of freedom of the press, the IU leaders said, “The rural reporters, who are the most neglected and ill-paid journalists in the country, are braving the threats and intimidation of political and criminal nexus in the rural expanses of the country. They are in the forefront to defend the democratic ideals and standing up as sentinels of public good and freedom of expression. Three more are added to the list martyrs in the cause of freedom of press to the nine that lost their lives last year making it cross the hundredth mark of the victims in the last two decades.”
The IJU leaders said, Rajdeo Ranjan, Bureau Chief Hindustan is the Vice-president of the Siwan District Unit of the Bihar Working Journalists Union (BWJU) affiliated to the IJU and in his death the union and the working journalists community in Bihar lost a valiant fighter for their cause.
“We demand that the Bihar and Jharkhand governments should immediately appoint a Special Investigative Team (SIT) with police officers of proven integrity and bring the culprits to the book. We also demand that the families of the slain journalists should be paid twenty five lakh rupees each by the respective state governments”, Sinha, Amar and Amarnath said.
They called upon the organisations of working journalists, editors and managements to come together and launch a powerful country-wide campaign for a special law for the protection of journalists. The IJU leaders urged upon the central government to take stringent steps to implement statutory wages to rural working journalists recommended by the Wage Board.