New Delhi: A media watch group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Tuesday urged the Government of India to ensure the safety of journalists after TV cameraman A. N. Sahu was killed in an ambush by Maoists in a rural part of Chhattisgarh.
Sahu, working as a cameraman for Doordarshan TV, was visiting the area ahead of upcoming state elections, and was riding on the back of a motorbike driven by a police officer who was targeted in the attack along with other police.
The cameraman’s death “is the latest tragedy to afflict the journalistic community in India, which had already been badly hit in recent months,” said Daniel Bastard, head of the Asia-Pacific desk of RSF, in a statement.
He said four Indian journalists were already killed this year, and many others have been the targets of violence and threats. “Thought must be given to an effective mechanism for protecting journalists. We urge India’s politicians to make this one of the major issues of next spring’s general elections,” he added.
RSF issued an “incident report” in July about the threat to India’s position in the World Press Freedom Index over deterioration in several of the indicators used to calculate a country’s ranking, including the “acts of violence against journalists” indicator.