Deaths and attacks mount, protests also mount

BY SEVANTI NINAN| IN Media Freedom | 02/10/2017
October 2 will see protests across the country as journalists gather to protest killings. But to assess the vulnerability of journalists look at the attacks as well.
Sevanti Ninan documents both

On September 9 journalists in Tripura protested against Gauri Lankesh's murder in Agartala. On September 20, one of their local colleagues was killed, 60 km from Agartala. 


A journalist’s killing is an assault on free speech when it is related to his/her work. But you need the police to do some degree of investigation before that can be established.

The year started with the news of a  dead body of a Jharkhand-based journalist being recovered in Hazaribagh in the first week of the year. He was associated with the Dainik Jagran. But evidence so far points to the death or murder having nothing to do with his journalism.


Recorded murders of  journalists in 2017





January 2

Hari Prakash


January 3

Brajesh Kumar Singh

Samastipur, Bihar

May 15

Shyam Sharma

Indore, Madhya Pradesh

May 31

Kamlesh Sharma

Mandsaur,Madhya Pradesh

August 5

Surender Singh Rana

Gurugram, Haryana

September 5

Gauri Lankesh

Bengaluru, Karnataka

September 20

Santanu Bhowmick

     Mandwai, Tripura

September 23

K J Singh

Mohali, Punjab

Of the cases documented above, in the Gurugram killing and that of K J Singh in Mohali, no links with their journalism has been established yet. In the case of Brajesh Kumar Singh killed in January in Bihar it is difficult to find any follow up report which establishes the linkage of the murder with his writings. In the case of Shyam Sharma, his wife is reported to have said in her statement that it could be related to enmity with his tenant.

But Kamlesh Sharma’s murder in the same month in the same state is believed to be related to his reports on a local liquor mafia.

And the Gauri Lankesh and Santanu Bhowmick cases are clearly murders of journalists for the work they were doing.

The real evidence of how increasingly vulnerable journalists are comes from the growing attacks on reporters and photographers going about their job, some quite brutal.

Andhra Pradesh has seen no less than three attacks by the politician-criminal nexus on those reporting on illegal mining and corruption. There was also an assault by police on an Eenadu photographer this year. Kashmir recorded three attacks. 

"The real evidence of how increasingly vulnerable journalists are comes from the growing attacks on reporters and photographers going about their job, some quite brutal"


Here is a calendar of attacks across ten states recorded on the Hoot’s Free Speech Hub:



Tamil Nadu: TV reporter stabbed by drug peddlers in Madurai

2017-02-23 | Madurai, Tamil Nadu


TDP MLA’s brother thrashed journalist for write-up; legislator justifies beating

2017-02-11 | chirala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana



After Sand Mining Exposé in The Wire, Reporter Complains of Harassment, Intimidation  

2017-03-18 Chennai, Tamil Nadu


Photo journalists in Kashmir roughed up

2017-03-18 | Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir


Rajinikanth’s 2.0 film leaks fear make crew attack two photo-journalists! FIR lodged in media assault case

2017-03-25, Tamilnadu




Eenadu photojournalist allegedly assaulted by police, detained near Andhra CM camp office

2017-04-25 | Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh




Andhra journalist thrashed with iron rods for exposing alleged sand mining.

2017-05-06 | Andhra Pradesh


Six arrested for attack on TV channel reporter in Andhra Pradesh

2017-05-10 | Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh




“Say, Pakistan Murdabad!”: A Reporter Recounts How A Mob In Delhi Assaulted Him When They Identified Him As Muslim

2017-06-20 | New Delhi




Bihar: Muslim journalist forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ to stop saffron-clad mob from torching his car

2017-07-04 | Bihar


Forces thrash photojournalist at Anantnag bus stand after militant attack

2017-07-04 | Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir


Arunachal Times journalist assaulted, press bodies condemn attack

2017-07-11 | Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh


Journalists assaulted by Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav's bodyguards outside Bihar Secretariat in Patna

2017-07-20 | Patna, Bihar


'10 Mikes Were About To Hit My Nose': Tejashwi Yadav Defends Attack On Journalist

2017-07-19 | Patna, Bihar




Hindutva goons thrash journalist in BHU as campus security watch on

2017-08-01, Benares, UP


NSUI, Assam members attack journalists at GS road, Guwahati

2017-08-16 | Guwahati, Assam


Another journalist attacked in Bihar, condition critical

2017-08-23 | Patna, Bihar


Haryana violence: Cameraman attacked after he tries to enter Dera campus in Sirsa

2017-08-30 | Sirsa, Haryana


Ram Rahim rape verdict: Punjabi TV reporter injured, cameraman missing in Sirsa

2017-08-30 | Sirsa, Haryana



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The National Herald has announced  that Neelabh Mishra, Editor-in-Chief of National Herald and Navjeevan, died on February 24 after a long illness, in Chennai. He was formerly editor of the Hindi Outlook until 2015, and became editor of NH in 2016. He began his career from the Navbharat Times in Patna, and launched Eenadu TV in Rajasthan in 1998. Tributes to him on Twitter describe him as  deeply committed to egalitarian and secular values.                                             

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