The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists (India) in condemning the murder of Indian journalist Shyam Sharma in Indore, Madhya Pradesh state on Monday, May 15. The IFJ demands an immediate and thorough investigation into the murder.
Sharma, a journalist working for a local city-based evening newspaper Agniban, was on his way to Manglia Square in his car when he was stopped by two assailants on motorbikes. They asked him to wind down his window, then slit his throat and fled the scene. A passer-by saw Sharma bleeding heavily and rushed him to hospital. He was moved to another hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
NUJ(I) President Ras Bihari condemned the murder in strongest words. Describing the murder as a ‘heinous act’, Bihari said: “NUJ(I) and Journalists Union of Madhya Pradesh, a unit of NUJ(I), offer heartfelt condolences to Sharma's family, and implore the authorities to bring those responsible for the murder to justice.”
NUJ(I) added in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Shyam. We call upon all the national and international bodies to condemn the act and this brutal form of silencing should end. We also demand from the state government for adequate compensation to the grieved family.”
The IFJ and NUJ(I) are investigating the murder as the motive remains unclear. Police have registered a case and are investigating two possible motives, including one that links to his journalism work.
Shyam Sharma is the first journalist killed in India in 2017 and the 26th journalist killed since 2010.
IFJ general secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "We condemn the brutal murder of Shyam Sharma in India, which once again illustrates the dangerous conditions that journalists across the world are facing. We call on the Indian authorities to immediately and thoroughly investigate this murder and bring those responsible to justice."
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