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IFJ and Indian union condemn attacks on journalists in India

 JournalismPakistan.com
 June 11, 2024

IFJ and Indian union condemn attacks on journalists in India

NEW DELHI—India's journalists have faced assaults, attacks, and threats over the past few weeks, with the recent elections and Israel's war on Gaza threatening journalist safety. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), in condemning these attacks and calling on state and national authorities to take action to guarantee the safety of journalists and uphold press freedom.

On May 31, Vinay Pande, an independent journalist, registered a police complaint after receiving death threats, including one message threatening to behead him, on Instagram. Pande filed a complaint with the Nagpur police, with Police Commissioner Ravinder Singal promising 'appropriate legal action.'

The Times of India reported that the threats were made from an Instagram account with 10,000 followers, which posted pictures of Pande and a teenage female influencer, threatening to behead them. Reportedly, Pande was threatened for his reporting on the Gaza Conflict.

Similarly, on June 1, freelance journalist Bunty Mukherjee was severely injured during violent clashes, reportedly between activists from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), on the last day of voting in the recent Lok Sabha elections in Canning, a town east of Kolkata. During one confrontation, Mukherjee was struck by a stone in his head and was transferred to the Medica Super Specialty Hospital in Kolkata for treatment.

In a separate incident on May 23, journalist Ankur Jaiswal was allegedly assaulted by BJP leader Satish Bhau and others at a private event in the Banganga area of Indore, in the western part of Madhya Pradesh. The Times of India reported that Jaiswal lodged a police complaint, claiming he was attacked by Satish Bhau and his accomplices following a spat over published material exposing their activities.

The IJU stated, "Geetartha Pathak, President of IJU and former member of the Press Council of India, and Sabina Inderjit, Secretary General of IJU and Vice President of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), demand action against those who threatened the Nagpur journalist and media influencer. IJU also demands an inquiry into the incident where the ANI journalist was injured due to clashes between rival political groups and calls for the perpetrators to be held accountable. The IJU urges state governments to ensure the safety and security of journalists, reminding them that India is slipping down the global press freedom index."

The IFJ added, "Journalists and media workers deserve to work without fear of attacks or retribution. Authorities at both state and national levels must ensure press freedom is upheld, the safety of media workers is guaranteed, and all incidents are investigated immediately, thoroughly, and transparently."—An IFJ media release/Photo: AFP

 

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