Press Statement

India: Uttar Pradesh journalist shot, another assaulted

16 May, 2024

Sudarshan News journalist Ashutosh Srivastava was fatally shot by unknown persons in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh on May 13, while Molitics journalist Raghev Trivedi was hospitalised after an assault on May 12. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates, the National Union of Journalists (India) (NUJ-I), and the Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), in strongly condemning Srivastava’s killing, and urging authorities to hold those responsible to account.

On May 13, Sudarshan News journalist and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Ashutosh Srivastava was shot by unknown assailants while travelling from his home in Sabrahad village to the Imranganj market, outside the eastern Uttar Pradesh city of Jaunpur. He was transferred to a local hospital after the attack but was declared dead on arrival.

According to Srivastava’s family, the journalist had received threats prior to his killing, reportedly linked to his coverage of the alleged slaughter of cows in the area. He had previously written to the police requesting protection, with his family claiming law enforcement failed to respond to the request. The motive behind the attack is unclear.

The killing has been condemned by the media community, with the NUJ-I and local media collective Jaunpur Patrakar Sangh calling for immediate financial compensation to the journalist’s family, and the IJU and the Press Emblem Campaign calling for an immediate and thorough investigation.

On May 12, Molitics reporter Raghav Trivedi was assaulted by political activists, allegedly linked to the BJP, at a demonstration in the central district of Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh. Trivedi, covering a rally lead by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had asked several women attending the rally if they had been paid to attend. On asking activists reportedly with the BJP about these claims, Trivedi was asked to delete the videos, before being assaulted.

In a series of videos posted to social media, Trivedi can be seen surrounded by demonstrators, who reportedly call him Islamophobic slurs, and later beat him, locking him in a waiting room. Law enforcement personnel can be seen failing to intervene during the assault. Trivedi was taken to hospital for treatment after the attack with a First Information Report (FIR) registered under rioting, harm, and criminal insult charges, based on an official complaint from Molitics cameraperson Sanjeet Sahni.

The NUJ-I said:“NUJ-I strongly condemned the public shooting of the journalist, demanding strict action against the culprits of the murder and a high-level investigation against the murder of the scribe by cow-smugglers and mafia. NUJ-I also demands a compensation of Rs 1 crore (10 million) to the deceased family. NUJ-I President Ras Bihari said that due to the insensitivity and irresponsible attitude of the police administration, a journalist was murdered which has raised questions on the credibility of the administration.”

The IJU said:“Journalists are regularly facing intimidation and physical attack for their reportage in the country. Freedom of the press and the safety of journalists is low under the present government at the states and at the centre. These undermine India, being the fourth pillar of democracy has urged the Election Commission of India and the local administration to take strict action against the culprits.”

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The IFJ strongly condemns the murder of Ashutosh Srivastava. If the safety of any media professional is under threat, police must take action to protect our colleagues. Authorities must uphold their constitutional commitments to press freedom, conduct a thorough investigation of these incidents, and take concrete steps to ensure the safety of journalists.”

Written By

IFJ Asia-Pacific IFJ Asia-Pacific

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