Tribune News Service
Kolkata, December 1
Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay has called on the Indian authorities to clarify the circumstances surrounding the death of journalist Parag Bhuyan, who was fatally injured on November 11 in a hit and run car accident in Kakopathar, Assam.
The driver who hit the journalist was arrested on the day following the incident.
“I deplore the death of Parag Bhuyan. I trust that the Indian authorities will ensure a timely investigation to shed light on the circumstances of Parag Bhuyan’s death. No effort should be spared to enable journalists to exercise their profession safety, without let or hindrance”, a press release posted on UNESCO website (en.unesco.org) on Monday quoted Azoulay as having said.
Bhuyan, an experienced journalist of the Pratidin Time group, specialized in issues relating to corruption and local crime, added the press release.
The Editors’ Guild of India also recently wrote to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressing concern about “growing incidents of violence against journalists in Assam”.
The Guild’s letter mentioned the unnatural death of Bhuyam who was run over by a car. According to the editor of the paper Bhuyan was working for, the reporter was murdered for exposing corruption and illegal activities in the Kakopathar area of Assam.
The letter, signed by Guild president Seema Mustafa, general secretary Sanjay Kapoor and treasurer Anant Nath, also mentioned the recent incident of journalist Milan Mahanta being tied to a pole and beaten mercilessly for daring to expose land and gambling mafia of Kamrup district. A video of the assault had gone viral.
A list containing names of 31 journalists killed in Assam since 1991 was appended with the letter. The Guild said most of these murder cases remained unresolved and urged the state government to take necessary steps so that “media can operate without fear” in Assam.