New Delhi: CPI (Marxist) Member of Parliament Jharna Das Baidya on Thursday raised in the Rajya Sabha the issue of attacks on and murders of journalists, asking from the government what steps it has taken to ensure safety of journalists.
Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the upper house of Indian Parliament, Baidya pointed out that five journalists had been killed this year.
She referred to the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari in Kashmir, Gauri Lankesh in Karnataka, two journalists in Tripura, and one in Punjab.
She said that whoever speaks against corruption or violation of rights was being attacked.
Baidya wanted to know what steps the government had taken to protect journalists from attacks. TMC member Derek O’Brien joined Baidya on the issue. He said, “Someone doing a story which someone doesn’t like, next day they (journalists) have to leave.”
Earlier, JD(U) member Ram Nath Thakur spoke about the poor financial condition of a Kargil War hero, Lance Naik (Retd) Satbeer Singh.
Thakur said as per reports, Singh was washing dishes and glasses at a juice shop.
The JD(U) MP demanded that the government should fulfil all the promises made to the war heroes.
To this, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said all dues have been paid to Singh.
“I understand the concern expressed by the member. But I may have to put it on record … every due that had to be paid …has been paid to him. Every other further requirement that he may have, we are quite willing,” the defence minister said.
In response to the minister’s comment, Naidu said: “Please be liberal…you have done your duty but be liberal… if something more can be done…”
Another CPI member, Binoy Viswom, brought to the notice of the House that Air India and other foreign airlines were charging exorbitant fares from Gulf nations to Kerala.
BJP member Shwait Malik said people were being duped by illegal travel agents in Punjab, while Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa expressed concern over the brain drain from the country.