Killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik in Tripura condemned by media rights group


New Delhi

Sep 21 2017 

The South Asia Media Defenders Network (SAMDEN) condemns the killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik, in Mandai in Tripura, saying that the issue goes beyond media freedom and involves the right to life. Bhowmik, a reporter for a local television news channel, Raat Din TV, was killed while covering a political rally of the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (PFT) on Wednesday.

He had been reporting on the PFT agitation when, according to the Press Trust of India, quoting the local Superintendent of Police, the 28 year-old was abducted and killed. 

Coming as it does only days after the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru, this is a reminder of the increasing violence being directed towards mediapersons across India. Reporters on the field in far-flung areas are particularly vulnerable to such attacks and intimidation.

As media professionals, we call upon political parties across the spectrum to ensure that the protection of journalists and on the Tripura Government to ensure justice to Bhowmick's family and that the attackers are brought to book to face the full force of the law.

The incident goes beyond freedom of expression. It is becoming one of the right to life and liberty, the most fundamental of all rights.

Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), columnist and author

Mrinal Pande, Writer and Editor, New Delhi

Tarun Basu, Director and former Chief Editor, IANS and President, Society for Policy Studies (SPS)

Nidhi Razdan, Executive Editor, NDTV

Jayanta Bhattacharya, Bureau Chief, PTI, Agartala, Tripura

Sir Mark Tully, Journalist and Broadcaster

Gillian Wright, independent journalist and author

Mahendra Ved, President, Commonwealth Journalists Association, Columnist ,The New Straits Times, Malaysia

John Zubrzycki, writer, former Deputy Foreign Editor, The Australian newspaper, Sydney

Salil Tripathi, columnist, author, Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee of PEN International, London

Rita Payne, journalist and Media Adviser, President Emeritus, Commonwealth Journalists Association

Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor, Imphal Free Press

Sandeep Phukan, Deputy Editor, The Hindu

Karan Thapar, journalist and a television commentator and interviewer

S. Nihal Singh, veteran journalist  

William Horsley, Commonwealth Journalists Association, London 

David Page, Commonwealth Journalists Association, London 

Ehsan Ahmed Sehar, President Rural Media Network Pakistan & Chief Editor Daily Nawa-i-AhmedpurSharqia,Pakistan

Rehana Hakim, Editor, Newsline, Karachi, Pakistan

Professor Imtiaz Ahmed, Department of International Relations & Centre for Genocide Studies (CGS), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abbas Nasir, columnist and former editor of Dawn, Pakistan

Rajdeep Sardesai, author, anchor, consulting editor at the India Today group

Preeti Gill, former Commissioning Editor, Zubaan, Publishing Consultant and Literary Agent

Utpal Borpujari, Filmmaker & film critic

Rajendra Dahal, Editor, Shikshak Monthly, Former Chairman Press Council , Kathmandu, Nepal

Rahul Verma, Commonwealth Journalists Association, UK

Jessica Odubayo, Commonwealth Journalists Association, London 

Aftab Siddiqui, founding member of the ARY TV network, UK. Columnist for The News & The Express Tribune 

Raymond Kharmujal,  independent journalist, Shillong

Abdul Ghani, Guwahati-based journalist

Stephen Cole, journalist and TV presenter

Kailash Budhwa, CJA-UK member and freelance journalist

Twaha Mukiibi, CJA-UK member, Ugandan journalist.

Fauzia Shaheen, Executive Director, Women Media Center, Pakistan, Editor Dastak

 Magazine, Vice President-South Asia, Commonwealth Journalists Association

Raymond Kharmujal,  independent journalist, Shillong

Abdul Ghani, Guwahati-based journalist

Stephen Cole, journalist and TV presenter

Kailash Budhwa, CJA-UK member and freelance journalist

Twaha Mukiibi, CJA-UK member, Ugandan journalist.

Fauzia Shaheen, Executive Director, Women Media Center, Pakistan, Editor Dastak Magazine, Vice President-South Asia, Commonwealth Journalists Association

Mitra Phukan, columnist and novelist, Guwahati

Roopa Barua, film maker, Mumbai
Babul Gogoi, digital entrepreneur
Kaustubh Deka, Dibrugarh University
Nabina Das, poet, Hyderabad
Adam Saprisanga, journalist, Aizawl, Mizoram
Anshul Ojha, film maker, New Delhi
Mirza Zulfiqar Rahman, Reseacher, Guwahati

Chief Foanyi Nkemayang Paul, President, CJA-Cameroon/Vice President Africa Bureau

Kavita Bajeli-Datt, former chief of bureau, IANS and Communications Officer, CHRI