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Killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh raises questions on freedom of press

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Killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh raises questions on freedom of press

The cold blooded killing of Gauri Lankesh—an activist-journalist, a writer on social issues and a strong critic of extremism , has shocked the nation. Lankesh was hit by three bullets outside her house in Bengaluru by unidentified assailants on Tuesday evening. This incident has again raised the question of safety of journalists. In 2015, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) dubbed India as "Asia's deadliest country" for media personnel, ahead of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.  According to the report, in 2015 alone nine journalists were killed. India embarrassingly ranks 137 in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, falling three positions since 2016. 


It is the duty of the state and central government to provide safety and protection to journalists,” former Economic and Political Weekly editor Paranjoy Guha Thakurta told exchange4Media. “Everyone who believes in the freedom of expression should speak up and remember what she (Gauri Lankesh) stood for,” Guha further said.


In last four years, more than 20 journalists and activists have been attacked and killed in India. Following are few prominent names who have become victims of the extremist rage:

Govind Pansare 

Pansare, 81, was a rationalist and a member of the Communist Party of India. On February 16, 2015, he and his wife were attacked by unidentified gunmen near their residence in Kolhapur. On February 20, he succumbed to the injuries. 


Dharmendra Singh 

A reporter for the national, Hindi-language newspaper Dainik Bhaskar, was shot dead on November 12, 2016, near his home in Sasaram, Bihar. 


Kishore Dave 

A bureau chief of regional daily Jai Hind newspaper, Dave was found dead in his office after sustaining six to seven stab wounds to the chest on August 22, 2016.


Akhilesh Pratap 

A district correspondent for the regional channel Taaza TV in Chatra, Jharkhand was shot thrice by unidentified gunmen on May 12, 2016.He was known for his critical reporting on corruption in the implementation of government projects on a local level. 


Karun Mishra 


He was shot by three unknown gunmen on a motorcycle in Sultanpur district, Uttar Pradesh on February 13, 2016. He was the Ambedkar Nagar bureau chief of the Hindi daily Jansandesh Times.


Hemant Yadav 


A reporter for channel TV 24, was shot on his way home in Dheena, Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh on October 3, 2015.


Raghavendra Dubey 


Dubey, the editor of a local weekly -- Khushboo Ujala -- was found dead on the side of a road in Kashimira, Bhayander on July 17, 2015.


Akshay Singh 

An investigative journalist for Aaj Tak, Singh was poisoned during an interview. He died of heart attack on July 4, 2015, in Bhayander.


Jagendra Singh  

Singh, a freelance journalist, died from burn injuries which he sustained after a police raid at his home on June 1, 2015. In a statement made to police after the incident, he stated police official Sriprakash Rai had doused him in petrol and set him on fire. He died on June 8, 2015.


Tarun Kumar Acharya 


Acharya, a stringer for Kanak TV, an Oriya-language TV channel, and a reporter for Sambad, a newspaper. He was found with his throat slit and injuries on his chest on May 28, 2014.


Sai Reddy 

The 51-year-oldjournalist of Hindi daily Deshbandu was killed on his way from Basaguda market on December 5, 2013. 


Rajesh Verma 

A stringer for channel IBN 7, Sharma was fatally shot by unidentified men in the chest on September 07, 20130 in Muzaffarnagar. 


Nemi Chand Jain


Jain (43,a veteran freelance reporter was stabbed to death on February 12, 2013. He was based out of Chhattisgarh and worked for Hindi-language dailies including Hari Bhoomi, Nayi Duniya, and Dainik Bhaskar.

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