JFA demands high level probe into Punjab journo-murder

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Guwahati: Worried at repeated incidents of journalist’s murders across India, the Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) urges the Union government in New Delhi to formulate a national action plan for delivering earliest justices to the victim families.

The northeast India based media forum, while expressing shock over the killing of another journalist in the country, also appealed to the media fraternity as a whole to get united on demanding safety & security measures for working journalists as early as possible.

The third case of journo-murder in September itself was reported from Punjab, as senior Journalist KJ Singh, 66, along with his old-age mother Gurcharan Kaur  found murdered in his residence at Mohali on Saturday (23 September 2017). Singh, who used to work for The Tribune, The Indian Express and The Times of India in Chandigarh, was found
with his throat slit.

Punjab chief minister and veteran Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh had already ordered to form a special investigate team (SIT) to probe into the dual-murder. He also reiterated his commitment to maintain the law & order situation in Punjab accordingly.

KJ Singh becomes the eighth journalists murdered in India this year immediately after Shantanu Bhowmik, 29 (killed at Mandai of Tripura on 20 September) and Gauri Lankesh, 55 (shot dead at Bangalore of Karnataka on 5 September).

Prior to them, a Haryana based television journalist (Surender Singh Rana) was shot dead on 29 July. The other victims include Kamlesh Jain of Madhya Pradesh (killed on 31 May), Shyam Sharma also of MP (15 May), Brajesh Kumar Singh of Bihar (3 January) and Hari Prakash of Jharkhand  (2 January).

India lost six journalists to assailants in 2016, which was preceded by five cases in 2015. The populous country witnessed murders of only two scribes in 2014, but the year 2013 reported as many as 11 journalists’ murders, where three northeastern media employees also fall victims to the perpetrators.

The killings of Sujit Bhattacharya (proof reader), Ranjit Chowdhury (manager) and Balaram Ghosh (driver) inside the office premises of DainikGanadoot in Agartala broke as sensational news as Tripura had no recent record of journalist murders. So Tripura repeated its shameful record on journo-murder after three years with Shantanu’s killing on duty hours.

“We appeal to the Punjab authority to probe into the murders of  Singh & his mother with all sincerity so that the culprits cannot escape the punishments. We also extend moral supports to the agitating media-persons in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh demanding justice to the senior editor-journalist,” said a statement issued by JFA president
Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.

This Press Release was sent by T Navajyoti, who can be contacted at tnavajyoti(at)gmail(dot)com

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