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NCRB to collect data on crimes against journalists on annual basis: MHA

10-April-2018
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NCRB to collect data on crimes against journalists on annual basis: MHA

The National Crime Records Bureau will now be collecting data on crimes against journalists on annual basis for murder, attempt to murder, assault and intimidation etc., according to a statement from Ministry of Home Affairs.

“In addition, the Brueau would be collecting data on crimes against journalists on annual basis for murder, attempt to murder, assault and intimidation etc through the revised proforma which would include cases registered, persons arrested and disposal of cases,” read the statement.

National Crime Records Bureau, currently, collects data on attack on media persons (Section 325, 326, 326A & 326B of IPC) through Monthly Crime Statistics including cases registered and persons arrested.

The statement from the government comes after a delegation of journalists’ organisations, led by the Press Club of India, met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and submitted a memorandum, drawing his attention to the increasing attacks on journalists in several States of the country.

In the meeting,  held in October last year, they demanded enactment of a legislation to protect and safeguard the lives of journalists while discharging their duties.

The delegation also sought intervention of the Home Minister in preparing a status report by his ministry on the pending cases of violence and murder of journalists from all the States.

The delegation also pointed out that over the past three decades there had not been any conviction in cases of violence against journalists.

“According to the NCRB, there have been 142 attacks on media persons in India since 2015 and 70 journalists killed between 1992 and 2016,” read the memorandum.

It requested the Union government to expand the ambit of the Working Journalists Act of 1966 by suitable amendment in order to give protective cover of employment to all journalists, including in the electronic and online media.

The delegation also demanded amendment in the Act to include provisions for adequate monetary compensation by employers and the concerned governments to journalists who suffer disability, injuries or are fatally attacked in the line of duty and establishment of a statutory welfare fund for journalists by all employers and state governments.

While requesting the Ministry of Home Affair for urgent intervention to ensure “that substantive measures are taken to instil a sense of security and confidence among the journalistic community”, the delegation also requested that an authentic status report by the Union Home Ministry on the various attacks on journalists in the form of threats and physical harm to their person and which form part of government records, be prepared covering the last 10 years.

The delegation was led by PCI President Gautam Lahiri, included Vinay Kumar (Secy-General PCI), Shobhana Jain (President, IWPC), T K Rajlakshmi (Vice President IWPC), Rajdeep Sardesai (Senior Journalist), Rahul Jalali and Nadeem A. Kazmi (both from Federation of Press Clubs in India), Arvind Tiwari (Indore Press Club), Anand Mishra (Press Association), Kalyana Baruah (North East Media Forum), P K Manikandam (KUWJ).

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