In a year when a Katharine Graham (The Post) taught journalists to speak truth to power and a Marie Colvin ( A Private War) was celebrated for reporting from the frontline, India slipped two points on the World Press Freedom Index ranking.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there were five cases of attacks on journalists and media persons across the country this year.
An ode to all of the journalists who lost their lives trying to fight for the truth.
1. Shujaat Bukhari
Veteran journalist and Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari and two of his guards were shot dead by suspected militants at the Jammu and Kashmir Press Enclave on 14 June. On 28 November, one of the militants involved in Bukhari's assassination was reportedly killed in a gun battle with security forces in J&K's Badgam district.
2. Naveen Nischal
Two journalists were crushed to death by a speeding SUV in Bihar’s Bhojpur district on 25 March. They were allegedly run over by the car of the village council head and his men in Bhojpur, around 80 km from Patna.
Dainik Bhaskar journalist Naveen Nischal (35) and another freelance reporter Vijay Singh (25) were returning home after covering the Ram Navami procession when the SUV rammed the motorcycle, killing both of them on Nahasi bridge near the Garhani police station. Activists have alleged that the accident was deliberate.
3. Achyuta Nanda Sahu
Days before Chhattisgarh went to polls, Doordarshan cameraperson Achyuta Nanda Sahu was killed in a Naxal attack in Dhantewada on 30 October.
Sahu was part of a Doordarshan crew, and was with a joint search team of police and CRPF jawans. The group was ambushed inside a jungle between Aranpur and Nilabhaya area of Dantewada. Along with Sahu, two other policemen were killed in the incident.
4. Chandan Tiwari
Journalist Chandan Tiwari, who was working with a Hindi newspaper in Jharkhand, Aaj, was abducted and beaten to death in Chatra district of the state for allegedly exposing irregularities in a government scheme.
Tiwari, 32, was found critically injured from Baltharwa forest, and was later referred to the Simaria Referral Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
According to the Hindustan Times, in April this year, Tiwari had informed the local police that he had received threats to his life.
Tiwari had claimed that following an exposure in irregularities in the PM Awas Yojana, he was threatened by Mahesh Dangi, husband of the village head.
5. Sandeep Sharma
35-year-old Sandeep Sharma, who was investigating illegal sand mining in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind district, was brutally mowed down by a truck on 26 March.
Sharma, who worked for a national TV news channel, had reported about a government officer who was allegedly working in collusion with the sand mafia.
As captured on a CCTV footage, Sharma was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by a dumper from behind near the Kotwali police station.
A Special Investigation Team was formed to probe the case, after family members and other journalists alleged that Sharma had been murdered. Before his death, Sharma, on several occasions, had sought police protection and written letters to the chief minister, the governor and the prime minister.
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