The Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed "utter dismay at the repeated incidents of murder of scribes in the country" and urged the media fraternity to be united for the cause of justice to all the slain journalists.
The JFA reaction came in the wake of the news of the setting ablaze of journalist Sandeep Kothari in Madhya Pradesh for apparently carrying out his journalistic duties against the manganese mining mafia.
"This is the second incident of journalist murder in India this year.
It is shocking that we have lost two active journalists within a month, when the first one was reported from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh (Jagendra Singh)," a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria today said.
The JFA statement denounced the allegation against the scribe that he was killed because of personal enmity.
"According to media reports from Bhopal, the charred body of Kothari – who was abducted on June 19 night from Katangi locality of Balaghat district in MP – was found lying near the railway tracks at Sindhi of Wardha district in eastern Maharashtra next day", the statement said.
"Shahjahanpur based citizen journalist Singh was also burnt to death by miscreants recently as he continued his Facebook updates against the mining mafia in his locality.
Singh was reportedly doused with inflammable items and allegedly set ablaze by a group of police personnel, who came to raid his residence on June 1 last", the JFA asserted.
It was followed by three other incidents of physical assaults on media persons – Deepak Mishra at Kanpur, Haidar Khan at Sherpur Kalan locality in Uttar Pradesh and Prashanta Kumar at Khoirabari in Assam’s Udalguri district, they said.
Prashanta Kumar had survived an assassination bid by some suspected militants on the night of June 18.
The Assam based media body demanded justice in all the assault cases and urged the respective authorities, including MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, to ensure security to media persons.