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NDTV’s Ravish Kumar says frequency of death threats increased, calls it 'all well organised'

Journalists in India are often a victim of death threats or hate campaign over their reporting. Recently, UN human rights experts called on the relevant authorities in India to act urgently to protect journalist Rana Ayyub, who received death threats following an online hate campaign.

File image of senior journalist Ravish Kumar. Screengrab from YouTube video

File image of senior journalist Ravish Kumar. Screengrab from YouTube video

Now it's NDTV's Ravish Kumar who is facing threat to life. The senior journalist has alleged that the frequency of death threats that he has been receiving since 2015 has increased in the last month, according to reports.

He told NDTV that it happened between 25-26 April when he had not been going to the office. "Suddenly, I started getting thousands of calls on my phone. When I used to block one number, I got calls from another and the kind of language used by all of them was derogatory."

The latest in the series is from an ex-CISF jawan who has sent him a video message threatening to shoot him in his office, according to a report in The Hindu.

Another person who claims to be from the Bajrang Dal in Uttar Pradesh has been sending him details of his residence address, the route he takes from home to office. The culprit also threatened to kill Kumar and rape the women in his family, the report added.

"It is all well-organised and has a political sanction," Kumar told The Hindu. His complaints to the police in Ghaziabad and in Greater Kailash have reportedly led to no action.

Another journalist Ayyub has also reportedly received a barrage of hate-filled messages. UN human rights experts, in a release issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), had asked the Indian government to urgently take steps to protect Ayyub. "We are highly concerned that the life of Rana Ayyub is at serious risk following these graphic and disturbing threats," said the UN experts.

Last year, journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her home in Bengaluru. Within two months after the incident, a young reporter, Shantanu Bhowmick, covering a clash between two tribal rights’ groups in Tripura, was kidnapped and beaten to death by some protesters.

According to Committee to Protect Journalists, between 1992 and 2018, around 47 journalists have lost their lives in India. That murder was the motive has been confirmed in all these cases. Of them, four journalists were killed in 2017 while two were killed earlier this year.

 


Updated Date: May 27, 2018 13:29 PM

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