The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly condemn the murder of journalist Raghavendra Dubey on Friday, July 17 in Mumbai, India. The IFJ and the IJU demand an immediate investigation into this murder and the worsening safety situation for the media in India.
Dubey, editor of the local weekly, Khushboo Ujala, was found dead with head injuries on the side of a road in Kashimira, Bhayander on Friday morning a few hours after he left the local police station. He was at the police station for questioning in connection with a recent attack on three journalists, Sashi Sharma, Santosh Mishra and Anil Notiyal. The journalists were recently covering a late night police raid on a local bar, when the owners and employees of the bar allegedly attacked them as they suspected the journalists had tipped off the police about activities of the bar.
Dubey was asked to visit the police station regarding the attack and left at 4 am on his motorcycle. Later he was found dead and his motorcycle was missing from the scene.
The police took four people into custody in connection with the murder, including the owner of the bar, the bar manager and two others. Police said it’s likely that they killed Dubey because he had regularly filed complaints with the police against bars in the area.
The murder of Dubey and the attacks on the other journalists come in the wake of an assault on a woman journalist, Manashree Pathak of a Marathi news channel, on Thursday, July 16. Pathak was assaulted, molested, and abused by a group at Vakola, Mumbai while covering an incident.
The IFJ and the IJU also condemn the spate of attacks on journalists and express grave concerns over the safety situation of journalists in India. Dubey is the third journalist in India to be murdered in last two months after Jagendra Singh and Sandeep Kothari were murdered in June.
In a statement, IJU President S N Sinha, Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli, Press Council of India (PCI) members K Amarnath and Prabhat Dash said frequent murders of and assaults on journalists in the country raised serious doubts over their safety.
The IJU added: “The IJU urge the government to immediately enact special legislation on safety of journalists providing for speedy investigation and trial by a special court on day to day basis, as recommended by a sub-committee of the Press Council of India (PCI) recently.”
The IFJ said: “The IFJ strongly condemn the murder of Ragavendra Dubey and urge the government of India to take immediate action to investigate the murder and bring those responsible to justice.
The IFJ added: “This is the third murder of a journalist in two months. Add in the numerous attacks on journalists in India this year and India is fast-becoming a dangerous country for the media. The government needs to take action to support and ensure the safety of journalists across the country and guarantee press freedom.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
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