Ruthless killings after killings of Journalist – Let us unite and speak up…

Swaroop Sharma

Recent murder of journalists- Gauri Lankesh and Santanu Bhowmik ,  has unsurprisingly drawn the political turns with CPIM and the BJP into a blame . Although the CPIM, which is in rule over the State, is calling this a motivated manslaughter by BJP-backed navies,  the BJP in turn is keen on molding the murder as morally a law and order failure of the government of Manik Sarkar. A young journalist – Bhowmik, who was in his late-20s, was heartlessly attacked while in duty doing coverage of clatters between the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the CPI(M)’s tribal wing, the Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP).

IPFT has been increasing its tension for a separate State of Tripuraland  , and tension has been looming in Tripura state with prohibitory orders under Section 144 in place in some affected  districts.  Moreover, Bhowmik had convicting footage of violence by activists of the IPFT. Elections in Tripura is due six months from now, and the BJP taking the fight with the long-ruling CPI(M), there is every danger of fact becoming a victim as the battle becomes more opposed. A huge blow against the freedom of the press would have been if Bhowmik’s death is not investigated, intensely and expeditiously, for what it is. As the first reports indicate that he did not died in the cross firing which took place, he was targeted as mentioned by the sources.

This heinous killing is an aide-mémoire of the dangerous circumstances journalists report in and the physical threat they do wearing a second skin. Recurrently, as Gauri Lankesh’s killing implied, they are beleaguered by radical groups wanting to spread terrorism in the public sphere from taking a particular questioning line. At all times, they are killed for knowing too much as well as on showcasing the real facts so that the public will be aware about the sheep is wearing a wolf’s skin.  Bhowmik may fall in either one of this category or say the both. Inhibitory effect of such killings is clear and it is welcome that media persons across our country are demanding a rapid development to punish his assassins.

In a democratic state like India such disastrous losses need more than just the gathering of contemporaries in the occupation. There is a clear cut line that connects intimidator strategies against a journalist, whether by physical strength or in other bullying ways by not disturbing the health of a democracy.  Constitution does not unambiguously give reference to the freedom of press, as do those of some countries, including the USA, which makes it all the more important for the public speech to adopt the link, so that a attentive watch against violence and coercion is never allowed. It is too often, evaluations such as the World Press Freedom Index are let sideways as being incidental.  Death of these two journalists Gauri Lankesh’s and Bhowmik’s   death must bring the chill of India’s ranking falling to 136, from an already awful 133 in 2016.

Swaroop Sharma 


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