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256 attacks on 228 journalists in India: Report

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Between May 2019 and August this year, there were 256 attacks on journalists in India. New York-based organization Police Project has done a research on violence against journalists in India, in which these attacks have been mapped. Journalists in India have faced many types of violence from arrest to murder in fake cases, due to which Journalism has become a dangerous profession. The New York-based Police Project has drawn this conclusion after a detailed study. In this study, events from last May 2019 to August this year have been included. The Polis Project has collected the events that happened during the coverage of different topics. According to this, there were 51 incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, 26 during the anti-CAA protests, 19 during the Delhi riots and 46 during the coverage of Kovid cases.

There have been 10 incidents of violence against journalists during the farmers’ movement so far. The remaining 104 incidents are related to different themes and times throughout the country. Violence on 228 Journalists Many journalists are currently lodged in jails in India. Kerala-based journalist Siddiq Kappan was arrested in October last year when he had gone to UP in connection with the news of a rape and murder case in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. Kappan has since been in jail under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups), 295A (outraging religious feelings), 124A (sedition), 120B (conspiracy), UAPA. Recently, when his 90-year-old mother died, he could not even meet his mother. The Polis Project report says that a total of 228 journalists faced violence during this time period.

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Suchitra Vijayan of the organization says that journalists in India are being prevented from working in different ways by the government itself. Vijayan says, “The government is silencing journalists in India by threatening, arresting or registering fake cases or by imposing some kind of restrictions. Those who speak against the government are constantly at risk of sedition and arrest.” India’s Record Bad Reporters Without Borders also ranked India among the world’s most dangerous countries for journalism in a report released by the organization’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index, ranking India 142 out of 180 countries, which ranks 142 out of 180 countries on media freedom. This year, Reporters Without Borders released a list of 37 such leaders of the world who are frequent attackers on the media, including the name of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

Suchitra Vijayan of the Police Project says that the continuous repression and increasing restrictions in India have posed a great threat to the freedom of the media. “A campaign of spreading hatred is launched on social media against journalists who question the government. Sometimes threats like rape or murder are also given,” he said. In pictures: Mandeep Poonia, a freelance journalist covering the farmers’ movement, who attacked the media, was arrested from the Singhu border in Delhi on January 30 this year. He was charged under IPC section 186 (obstructing government work) of the IPC. A case was registered under section 353 (assault on government official), section 332 (injury to public servant) of IPC and section 34 of IPC. Later he was released on bail..

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