Press Statement

India: Killing spree continues in Bihar and Jharkhand

05 Jan, 2017

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (India) in strongly condemning the killing of a journalist in Samastipur district of Bihar, India on January 3.

The IFJ demands the immediate arrest and prosecution of the assailants to ensure justice for Brajkishore Kumar Brajesh, who worked for a Hindi daily newspaper.

He was shot dead by five or six assailants near a brick kiln in Salkhani village.

Although the police suspects an old enmity as a reason for the killing, it has yet to be ascertained and IFJ affiliates in India are investigating if the killing was work-related.

NUJ(I) President Ras Bihari pointed out that Brajesh is the third journalist killed in Bihar in nine months. The murder took place exactly 50 days after a Hindi newspaper reporter was gunned down at Sasaram in west Bihar.

On May 13, 2016, a senior journalist of Hindi daily Hindustan, Rajdeo Ranjan, was also shot dead in the state.

Describing the murder as ‘barbarous’, the NUJ(I) said: “He was murdered in broad day-light. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Brajesh’s family, and implore the authorities to bring those responsible for the murder to justice. We also demand that the police and judiciary ensure that the culprits do not go unpunished.”

NUJ(I) Secretary General Ratan Dixit said: “Too many journalists in Bihar are being attacked with impunity. We demand an immediate investigation into the murder and justice for the family. We call upon all the concerned bodies to condemn this act. This brutal form of silencing must end.”

NUJ(I) and it’s affiliate Jharkhand Union of Journalists (JUJ) have also demanded an investigation in to the case of Dainik Jagran journalist Hari Prakash, who was found dead in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district on December 30, 2016.

The family claimed that he was murdered after his body was found two days after he went missing. The IFJ said: “The IFJ is deeply saddened by the killing of our colleague Brajesh Kumar in Bihar, and the mysterious death of Hari Prakash in Jharkhand, and demands a thorough investigation and the arrest and prosecution of the culprits. India saw five journalist killings in 2016 and the Indian government should immediately act to ensure that the murderers of journalists do not get away scot free.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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