UN chief Antonio Guterres expresses concern over deaths of journalists in India

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday expressed concern over the deaths of two journalists in India while condemning violence against media persons across the globe.

“We, of course, are concerned about anything that would suggest the harassment or violence against journalists, anywhere in the world and would do so in this case,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

Haq was responding to a question on the UN’s response to the recent deaths of two Indian journalists in the line of duty.

Sandeep Sharma, 35, a reporter in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district, died after he was mowed down by a truck. Sharma had earlier complained about threats to his life after he carried out a sting operation on illegal sand mining.

In Bihar, Naveen Nishchal, a journalist who worked for the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, was among the two persons killed when an SUV rammed into their bike in Bhojpur district, with the family alleging that it was a case of murder and that a former village head was behind it.

Advocacy group The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the killings and called on the Indian authorities to determine the motive and bring to justice those responsible for Sharma’s death.

Sharma’s colleague Vikas Purohit, who witnessed the collision, told the CPJ that he took Sharma to the local hospital where the journalist was declared dead from injuries sustained in the crash.

Purohit said both he and Sharma began receiving anonymous death threats last year after publishing two stories in July and October 2017 on alleged police corruption and illegal sand mining.

“Authorities must thoroughly investigate the killing of journalist Sandeep Sharma and determine if he was targeted because of his reporting,” said CPJ Asia Program Coordinator Steven Butler from Washington DC.

“This tragic incident may well be a failure of local authorities to provide adequate security to a reporter who had received death threats,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi

Adam Rizvi has a unique talent for publishing to marketing to managing projects, writers & assigning the task to correspondents. Edits an e-paper & cover the news. An activist, spend time with family & friends. His adorable daughters, Alizah & Anum are his lifelines. He spends his time reading, swimming, hiking, cycling, and watching with them their favorite TV shows, & fixing the Big Old House where he lives. Studied literature & management. Volunteer for non-profits. President of a Travel Agency. Publisher. Circulated the newspapers. Acted & Assisted in directing & production of the award-winning film & TV Serial. Scripted a little. Modeled. Emceed the live shows & judged competitions. A caring sibling and was an obedient son of his late doting parents whom he misses dearly. Adam uses his various positions & experiences in building a strong relationship with all. Appreciates his articles being read, commented, liked, and shared. He can be reached at his personal email: mediaiss@gmail.com.

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