4 journalists killed in past 6 months, global media watchdog warns India

London: India may slip further from its current 138th place in the World Press Freedom Index as four journalists were murdered in less than six months amidst a sharp rise in hate speech, a global media watchdog warned on Wednesday in its first report on the country.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had come out with a report exclusively on India in view of the increase in breaches of press freedom in India in the past six months. In the 2018 Index, published in April this year, India was ranked at the 138th position out of 180 countries, two places lower than in 2017, and the situation has continued to deteriorate.

India’s position

138th position out of 180 countries

The report

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it had come out with a report exclusively on India in view of the increase in breaches of press freedom in India in the past six months.
This kind of intimidation, which affects journalists expressing even the mildest criticism of the current government, creates a harsh climate of self-censorship and even propaganda, it said.

Recent killings

  • On June 14, Shujaat Bukhari, editor of the Kashmir-based newspaper ‘Rising Kashmir’, was shot dead as he left his office in Srinagar.
  • Sandeep Sharma, who had been investigating illegal sand mining, was crushed to death by a garbage truck in Madhya Pradesh on March 26.
  • A day earlier, two other journalists, Navin Nischal and Vijay Singh, sub-editors with the daily ‘Dainik Bhaskar’, were deliberately run over and killed by an SUV in Bihar.