journalistEditorial

Is Fourth Pillar of Democracy in Danger? Killing of Journalists raise a question

Media is considered the fourth pillar of our constitution. Media plays one of the biggest roles in any country’s status.

Do you know who plays a major role in maintaining this fourth pillar? It is the journalist, their work, their enthusiasm is the soul of Media houses.

How easy it is for us to say that the media never pays attention to where they are needed. Well, did you ever bother to ask yourself, why is that? Or if it is even like that?
Media houses mostly run on TRP, a tool to judge which programs are viewed the most by the “AUDIENCE”. Well, I don’t have to tell you who is the audience.
Media keeps us informed about information around the globe, with the comfort of us sitting in our drawing-room.

Ever thought of what goes into bringing those hidden stories out?
Today I will introduce the stories of those few who lost their lives while bringing out the story for you.

Gauri Lankesh
At least three unidentified assailants fired at Gauri Lankesh outside her home in Bangalore as she returned home from work on September 5, 2017, according to reports that cited witnesses. She was shot in the head and chest and died on the spot. Lankesh was part of a government panel involved in shaping a Maoist surrender to state police, according to reports. According to the BBC, the journalist was sympathetic to the Maoist rebels and was involved in the reintegration of former rebels.

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Abdullah Hananzai
He worked as a video journalist with RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi. He lost his life in a double suicide bomb attack on April 30, 2018, in Kabul, Afghanistan along with Abdullah, 24 other journalists were killed in that blast. The attack was intentionally done to target journalists.

Navin Nischal & Vijay Singh

He worked as a stringer for Dainik Bhaskar. He was riding a bike with freelance journalist Vijay Singh on Arrah-Sasaram highway when an SUV ran over them. A stringer for the Hindi-language daily Dainik Bhaskar was killed on the evening of March 25, 2018, after an SUV ran him over in the town of Arrah in India’s Bihar state.
Nischal and Vijay Singh was riding Nischal’s motorbike on the Arrah-Sasaram highway when an SUV hit them from behind and ran them over, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper and Rakesh Kumar Singh, Dainik Bhaskar’s bureau chief for the Bhojpur district including Arrah. According to the police, the Arrah village head, Mohammad Harshu, was driving the car that ran over Nischal and Singh. Police arrested both Harshu and his son, Dablu, who was in the vehicle with his father at the time of the accident. According to Indian Express, Nischal’s recent reporting on child marriage and Harshu’s role in land divisions angered the village head.

Sudip Dutta Bhaumik
He was an investigative reporter at the Bengali-language daily Syandan Patrika. As per reports; a guard shot him outside the office of Tapan Debbarma, a commandant in Tripura State Rifles paramilitary force. Bhaumik had worked for 20 years as an investigative journalist, specializing in exposing corruption in the police force. Debbarma called the journalist to his office to discuss a clarification that the commandant needed for a story Bhaumik wrote, accusing of financial irregularities in the paramilitary force, as per reports. Subal Kumar Dey, an editor of Syandan Patrika, witnessed the journalist and commandant arguing, as per reports. the commandant was arrested by police later.

Shujaat Bukhari
Many unidentified gunmen shot Shujaat Bukhari. He was leaving for an Iftaar party, while he was shot. The two police officers assigned to protect him were also caught in the crossfire.
Several unidentified gunmen fired at Shujaat Bukhari, 50, outside his office as he was leaving for an iftar party (the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast), according to media reports. He suffered injuries to the head and abdomen, according to a report on the Free Press Kashmir news website. Two police officers, who had been assigned to protect him after an attack in 2000, were also fired at, the reports said. All three were rushed to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh hospital where they died, according to news reports. The Rising Kashmir office is located in Srinagar city’s Press Colony, a high-security zone that houses other media organizations, according to a report in The Telegraph newspaper. On June 15, police released images of three suspects on a motorcycle captured on closed-circuit TV.

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Sajid Hussain
His body was discovered on 1st May in a river in Stockholm. He was one of the most prominent journalists from Balochistan. Sajid Hussain moved to Sweden in 2017, he was also granted political asylum after fleeing from Pakistan, owing to the continuous death threats. Though the investigation is still ongoing, it is suspected that he was assassinated. Hussain was committed to elucidating the grave reality of the region where the Pakistani military conducted arbitrary detentions, torture, disappearances, and targeted killings. After the assassination of multiple Baloch journalists and death threats against him, Hussain fled Pakistan to find refuge in Sweden.

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We also witnessed the attacks on Arnab Goswami. Following the episode where he called Ex-President of INC, Sonia Gandhi, by her birth name “Antonio Maino”. He called her out for her silence on Palghar Lynching.

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These are just a few names from the list of those who lost their lives in the battle against corruption. While some journalists have demeaned this profession by being biased and propagandist. These journalists will remain ideal for many. Because it’s them who work hard to bring the truth out in open. I hope that the future will be safer and freer for the journalists out there.

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