Press; the fourth estate of the democracy,
helps to inform, educate and entertain the public on various issues. But in reality, how these journalists and reporters struggle to cover issues are indeed breathtaking. Recently, two journalists in Bihar and one in Madhya Pradesh were suspiciously killed. We know the story of the killing of Gauri Lankesh
, a senior journalist, how and for what reason she was shot dead last year in Bangalore.
The issue of two journalists who were assaulted by the cops as they were covering the news on JNU protest in the capital city, created turmoil among the other journalists. One of the journalists was harassed and molested by a Delhi Senior House Officer (SHO). The camera of the journalist was snatched away by the police, the media files were deleted and still, the police justified the act by saying that they 'mistook the journalist as a protester'. Even if they were protestors, who gave the Delhi police the right to grab a woman's breast and molest her in the name of 'law and order'?
Even after three days of lodging an FIR, no actions were initiated until co-journalists staged a protest near the parliament house.
Sandeep Sharma, a 35-year-old journalist investigating illegal sand mining cases in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh was run over by a dumper under mysterious circumstances in March this year. He was working with a national news channel and had filed a complaint with the police citing immediate threat to his life from a police officer after a ‘sting operation’ against him. Still, no one could save his life and this has triggered panic among other journalists in the region. It is alleged that police responded only after 15 to 20 minutes despite the fact that spot was a few meters away from the police station. This is indeed the sad and shameful state of affairs which highlights how the system works in the state and how the cops treat the ones who strive to unravel the truth in front of the society.
Earlier two journalists, Navin Nishchal, who worked for Dainik Bhaskar, and his colleague Vijay Singh, were killed in Bihar as they were run over by car of a village council head and his men in Bhojpur, around 80 km from Patna.
Do these reports on the killing of journalists clearly indicate that something is horribly wrong with the system of governance? Why are they being targeted and killed for doing their job? If government, law, and order in the country are silent and the press is restricted from doing its work, democracy is really under threat!