New Delhi, Aug 2: At least a dozen MPs on Thursday expressed concern in the Rajya Sabha over the unabated attacks on journalists in different parts of the country. The issue was raised by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Jharna Das Baidya during the Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha. A number of MPs including Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress; P.L. Punia, Raj Babbar and Hussain Dalwai of the Congress; Tiruchi Siva of the DMK; Manoj Kumar Jha of Rashtriya Janata Dal and Independent member Ritabrata Banerjee among others seconded Baidya. “Over the years, several journalists have lost their lives while reporting about human rights violations, corruption and for doing their job,” Baidya said in the House.
“In 2018, three journalists have lost their lives, the latest of them being veteran Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari. This is one short of the four journalists who were killed in 2017,” she said. “If it’s his work that led to the killing, Bukhari may become the 48th journalist who has been killed because of his work in India since 1992, the year when the Committee to Protect Journalists started keeping records of journalist deaths. “Bukhari’s murder is the second high-profile killing in the last two years, the last one being Gauri Lankesh,” she added. She added that in Tripura, Sudip Dutta was murdered. “What are the steps taken by the government for the prevention of attack and killing of journalists,” the MP demanded to know. She further said that after the election in 2018 in Tripura, many publications have been stopped particularly “Daily Desher Kotha”, which earlier circulated 52,000 copies but now it has come down to only 6,000 copies. (IANS)