Geneva/Guwahati: Expressing shock at the mysterious death of a television scribe in Bihar, the Switzerland based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) demands an authentic probe into the incidents that led to Manish Kumar Singh’s untimely demise so that the probable culprits can be punished under the law.
It may be mentioned that Manish (30), who worked for Sudarshan news channel, was missing for some days and his semi-decomposed body was found in Champaran locality on 10 August 2021. Both of his eyes were reportedly removed. Hailed from Paharpur village, the victim’s father (Sanjay Kumar Singh) is also a journalist engaged with a Hindi newspaper.
Sudarshan channel editor Suresh Chavhanke claimed that Manish was kidnaped and murdered. He also added that two individuals namely Mohammad Arsad Alam and Amarendra Singh were arrested by the police in connection with the crime. The outspoken editor alleged that Bihar police was informed about his missing but did nothing as if they ‘waited passively for the murder’.
“After Andhra Pradesh scribe Chenna Keshav’s murder recently, it is the fourth incident of journo-deaths to assailants during 2021 in the populous country. Bihar government, led by Nitish Kumar, should do the needful to punish the culprits under relevant laws as there should be no impunity,” said Blaise Lempen, general secretary of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch/pec-news.shtml).
Last year, India recorded the highest number of journalists killed worldwide with 15 fatalities among 92 media persons killed in different countries. PEC documents 48 journalists who lost their lives across the globe since 1st January this year, where Afghanistan tops the list with 6 journo-victims (including Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed there by the Taliban) followed by Mexico & Pakistan (4 each), etc.
“Two journalists (Ashu Yadav and Sulabh Srivastava) lost their lives in the country to perpetrators during the first half of 2021. However, it witnessed more than 270 journalists who fall victims of the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020,” said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s India representative, adding that the government should consider formulating special protection laws for media persons at the earliest.