Protest in Assam against attack on 3 scribes

Several organisations in Assam staged a protest on Sunday here, accusing the state government of failing to nab those involved in the attacks on three journalists in the last three days.

Two days after miscreants attacked Rajen Deka and Upasana Barua Goswami, two journalists in Nalbari and Tinsukia districts, Rajib Bora, another journalist was attacked in Jorhat district on Saturday night.

Deka, a correspondent of Dainik Asom, an Assamese daily was attacked with a bamboo pole on Thursday night while he was on his way home. Deka’s family alleged that a BJP worker, who threatened him on Facebook recently over a news item had attacked him. Deka was admitted to hospital with serious injury. Police picked up a youth but the prime accused has not yet been nabbed.

Upasana, a reporter with News18 Assam-Northeast, a news channel, came under the attack of miscreants in a restaurant the same day. Bora, a reporter with DY365, another news channel was attacked by owner of a street side food joint, allegedly following a news item that highlighted encroachment in Jorhat town.

“Every time there is an attack on journalist, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal promises action, but nothing happens thereafter. This is encouraging the miscreants to attack the journalists,” said a protester of Students’ Federation of India.

Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, a peasants’ rights body led by RTI activist, Akhil Gogoi alleged that such attacks have increased since May 2016 when BJP-led government came to power in the state. He said the government's failure to nab the accused indicated its indirect support to efforts of silencing the media. "Media is under constant threat and a sense of insecurity under the BJP government, not only in Assam but in rest of the country," said Ratul Hussain, publicity secretary of the forum.

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