4/28/2018 12:12:02 AM
|written By : Team India Se|
In a shocking attack, unidentified miscreants threw a petrol bomb at the residence of The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim in the north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya.
The incident happened on at around 8.30 pm on April 17 when two motorcycle- borne youths, whose faces were covered, were seen hurling the petrol bomb.
Soon after the police were informed, superintendent of police Davis Marak reached the spot to conduct an inquiry. She was provided armed security guards by the police after the incident.
The Shillong Press Club strongly condemned the attack and demanded punishment of the miscreants. Journalists took part in a solidarity march in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, to protest against the attack.
Ms Mukhim, who was at home at the time of the attack, is a prominent social activist. She was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, in 2000 for her work in the fields of social justice and women's empowerment. She posted a picture of the bomb on Facebook expressing her shock. “Those who did this ugly deed need to be arrested. I heard the explosion and saw the flames rising. It’s a terrible feeling,” she wrote.
“While journalists across the country have faced attacks in the last few years, the states of the North-east are particularly perilous. Just last year, two journalists were killed in Tripura,” said the Indian website Scroll.
India drops from 134th to 136th on 2018 World Press Freedom Index
India dropped from 136th to 138th place in the 2018 World Freedom Index. The report on India compiled by Reporters Without Borders was headlined “Deadly threat from Modi’s nationalism,” blaming Prime Minister Modi and the Hindu nationalists. The report claimed that “self-censorship is growing in the mainstream media and journalists are increasingly the targets of online smear campaigns by the most radical nationalists, who vilify them and even threaten physical reprisals”.
It added: “At least three of the journalists murdered in 2017 were targeted in connection with their work. They included the newspaper editor Gauri Lankesh, who had been the target of a hate campaign on social networks. Three other journalists were killed for their professional activity in March 2018. Prosecutions are also used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which ‘sedition’ is punishable by life imprisonment. No journalist has so far been convicted of sedition but the threat encourages self-censorship. Coverage of regions that the authorities regard as sensitive, such as Kashmir, continues to be very difficult. Foreign reporters are barred from the region and the Internet is often disconnected there. When not detained, Kashmiri journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence by soldiers acting with the central government’s tacit consent.”