Post-Tripura killing, journalists seek safety mechanism

New Delhi


Gathered here to condemn the death of one of their fraternity members, journalists on Friday resolved to fight for a better protection mechanism for those who cover news from conflict-hit locations.

A news reporter for a local channel, Shantanu Bhowmick, was abducted and hacked to death on Wednesday while covering the clashes that broke out between the CPI-M's tribal wing Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad workers and the cadres of the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura, a tribal-based opposition party, in Tripura.

The journalists descended on the Press Club of India and demanded action from both the state and central governments into the life lost in the line of duty.

To make their protest more symbolical, the fraternity decided to carry out a silent march on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, to the Home Ministry and present there a memorandum of their demands.

"Whatever he was or he was not, Bhowmick was certainly a journalist... We must take out this march and make our voices heard," Rajdeep Sardesai, a consulting editor at the India Today group, said.

He also cautioned against those journalists who downplay such protests sitting on the sidelines, saying the scribblers' community did not care about the small town journalists, causing a rift in the fraternity.

"A pernicious and dangerous campaign is being run to divide journalists. There are no left wing and right wing journalists, it's only those who practise their craft in line of its ethics and those who don't," he added.

Some of those present pointed out the apathy of those media employers who do not even bother to give insurance cover to their employees.

General Secretary of the Indian Women Press Corps Aditi Tandon said the journalists should form a committee to record such killings and present a report to the government to press them to make the required laws. - IANS