The Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India in a statement has said that the growing of number of journalists being killed in the line of duty in the country is alarming and demanded urgent measures to ensure the security of media persons.
“In the past one week itself, at least three journalists were killed in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh states. There is a strong indication that their murders were related to their work as journalists. This is an alarming situation that has made our country one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. The murder of prominent Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh still remains unresolved. The criminals gangs involved in unlawful businesses and the communal outfits who thrive on misinformation possibly feel threatened by the existence of true journalism. As these forces are helped by their cronies in power, together they are strangulating press freedom in the country by repeatedly targeting and killing courageous media persons. We call the attention of the civil society to the situation and urge the authorities for serious measures to ensuring a safe atmosphere for journalists to work.”
The meeting also demanded the central government to withdraw from moves against the minority status of Jamia Millia Islamia University. The counter affidavit filed by the central government in Delhi High Court against minority status of Jamia Millia Islamia can only be viewed as yet another anti-minority move. Jamia Millia Islamia University was established and is being run by Muslims. Any move against its minority character is tantamount to blocking the educational empowerment of the Muslim community, which according to various studies is still one of the most backward communities in the country. It is quite unfortunate that even the university authorities are not defending its minority character.
The meeting also condemned the attempts by Hindutva forces to orchestrate communal riots in West Bengal. “Under the pretext of Ram Navmi marches, Hindutwa forces entered Muslim villages and unleashed attack on them in few districts. This can be viewed as in line with the mob violence unleashed by Sangh Parivar after its election win in Tripura.” The meeting urged West Bengal government curb violence and to secure lives and properties of minorities.
Chairman E. Abubacker presided over the meeting.