GUWAHATI, June 22 � The Journalists� Forum Assam (JFA) has expressed utter dismay over the repeated incidents of murders of scribes in the country and urged the media fraternity of the largest democracy of the world to stand united for the cause of justice to all the slain journalists.
The JFA�s reaction came out following the news of the brutal murder of a rural journalist in Madhya Pradesh, where Sandip Kothari, 40, was burnt to death for his journalistic writings against the manganese mining mafia.
The media body also denounced the allegation that the scribe was killed because of personal enmity.
According to the media reports from Bhopal, the charred body of Kothari � who was abducted on June 19, 2015 night from Katangi locality of Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh � was found lying near the railway tracks at Sindhi of Wardha district in eastern Maharashtra next day.
The MP police have already arrested two persons in connection with the murder of Kothari, who used to work as a local correspondent of a Hindi daily of central India.
�This is the second such incident of murder of journalists in India this year. It is shocking that we have lost two active journalists within a month, where the first one was reported from Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh (Jagendra Singh),� said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
The Shahjahanpur-based citizen journalist Singh was also burnt to death by miscreants recently as he continued his Facebook updates against the mining mafia in his locality. Singh was reportedly doused with inflammable items and set ablaze by a group of police personnel, who came to raid his residence on June 1 last. The middle-aged journalist died of burn injuries on June 8 at the Lucknow civil hospital.
It was followed by three major incidents of physical assaults on mediapersons, namely, Deepak Mishra at Kanpur, Haidar Khan at Sherpur Kalan locality and Prashanta Kumar at Khoirabari in the country. Kumar from Udalguri district in western Assam had survived an assassination bid by some suspected militants on the night of June 18.
The Assam-based media body demanded justice in all the assault cases and urged the respective authorities including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to ensure security to mediapersons. The JFA argued that unless justice is guaranteed, few journalists would take the risk of reporting sensitive issues, which would only ruin the tradition of serious and critical journalism in the country.