PANAJI, June 2 (IANS): Twenty-six journalists have been killed over the past 12 years in the northeast region, making it one of the most dangerous places for working journalists, according to a Press Council of India member.
Amarnath Konsuri, member of the Press Council sub-committee for formation of a proposed law for protection of journalists in India, told reporters here that the legislation would have a provision of compensation as well as a job for the kin of slain journalists.
"In the last three years, four journalists were killed in Tripura and three in Manipur alone. Overall, 26 journalists have been killed in the northeastern states and Assam in 12 years, while 25 were killed in Jammu and Kashmir," Konsuri told a press conference.
"What's even more shocking is that there has not been a single person convicted so far for killing journalists," he said.
Speaking about a legislation which was being drafted by a sub-committee of the PCI for protection of journalists, Konsuri said the thrust of the law would be on getting faster justice in cases involving attacks on journalists.
"These cases involving attacks on journalists should be tried by fast track courts. The accused in the Shakti Mills gang rape case has been sentenced because it was fast tracked, while in case of Mid-Day journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, it is still on," Konsuri said.
In April this year, a trial court held three people guilty of raping a woman photo-journalist in Mumbai, their repeat crime within a year. The unresolved case Konsuri referred to involves the murder of Dey, crime reporter with a tabloid newspaper, who was shot dead in 2011 in Mumbai.
Konsuri also said the law would provide for the deceased journalist's family, because in most cases they were out on the streets, in absence of assistance both from the state and the media management.
"We are going to recommend a compensation of not less than Rs.10 lakh and a government job for the deceased journalist's kin," he said.