The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) in condemning the attack on a journalist in Assam, India on Thursday night, June 18. The IFJ and IJU are extremely concerned about the rise in attacks on journalists in India in recent weeks and call on the Indian Government to take immediate action.
Prasanta Kumar, the Khairabari correspondent of Assamese daily Asamiya Pratidin, was shot at and attacked by a group of five people while returning home on his motorbike. An attacker shot him in his shoulder and then after blindfolding him, forced him into a car. The attackers stole his money and mobile phone, before throwing him out of the car.
Kumar survived the attack. He managed to reach the local police station where he received some primary first aid and was then rushed to hospital. Police have not arrested anyone but are investigating the incident. The motive of the attack is not clear although police suspect that the terrorist outfit in the region is behind the attack as Kumar was actively writing against the extortion drive and the ongoing anti-terrorist operations.
The IJU and the Journalists Union of Assam (JUA) demanded that the state arrest and punish the culprits. The IJU and the JUA also expressed grave concerns regarding the increasing number of attacks on the journalists of the state and ask the government to ensure safety of life, property of journalists and freedom of media.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ strongly condemns the attack. Assam has continued to prove itself a dangerous place for journalists and the government has largely failed to ensure safety and security for journalists. The attack on the journalist is a serious case of intimidating journalists in the business of pursuing the truth.”
The IFJ added: “These incidents will have a chilling effect on journalists, thus it should be investigated in a fair and independent manner as soon as possible, in order to punish those responsible.”
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