In a fresh incident of violence against scribes in Uttar Pradesh, a journalist was shot dead in Sultanpur district by unknown assailants on Saturday. The scribe, Karun Misra, the Ambedkarnagar bureau chief of Hindi daily, Jan Sandesh Times, was returning to his home district around noon when two motorbike-borne assailants shot at him in Sultanpur.
Misra was rushed to hospital but he succumbed to bullet wounds on the way. Responding quickly to the incident Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has ordered Director General of Police Javeed Ahmed to form special teams to nab the culprits. Mr. Yadav also announced Rs. 10 lakh ex-gratia compensation for the family of the journalist. More details are awaited.
Uttar Pradesh ranks high in terms of assaults on journalists — the State accounted for 74 per cent of the total attacks on journalists in 2014 - and this incident comes close on the heels of the Samajwadi Party government starting a helpline (1880) for the service of journalists.
Just a few days ago, some television reporters were allegedly assaulted by an SP MLA Naved Hasan in Shamli, when they had gone to report on the death of a child due to firing by SP workers after win in the block pramukh elections.