IJU condemns murder of journo in Bihar

NEW DELHI, 19 Aug: The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has condemned the killing of journalist Vimal Kumar Yadav, who was working for the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran, by unidentified assailants at his residence in Prem Nagar in Raniganj in Araria district of Bihar on Friday morning.

The union demanded that all culprits be brought to book immediately, and that a special law for safety and security of journalists be enacted.

According to the police, “The assailants knocked at Yadav’s house at around 5:30 am and opened fire when he opened the gates. He died on the spot; his body has been sent for postmortem examination; an investigation is underway.”

While the motive behind the murder has not fully been established, the police suspect that it could be linked to the murder of his brother in 2019, as Yadav was the sole witness in that case. Besides, the police are looking also into the angle that Yadav was said to be “involved in an old dispute with a neighbour.”

So far, eight individuals have been identified by the police as suspects in the case, of which four have been arrested. Two other accused are lodged in Araria jail and are under custody for further investigation.

In a statement, IJU President Geetartha Pathak and Secretary-General Sabina Inderjit said that “the ghastly murder in broad daylight of a journalist sadly reaffirms that safety and security of journalists is not a priority of governments, even though the IJU has been long demanding a special law for the same.”

“The fourth estate goes unprotected and hampers journalists from carrying out their duties to keep the citizenry informed. The murder of the journalist should not be seen in isolation but as an attack on press freedom and independence,” they said.