Even as the demand for making a law to protect journalists from violent attacks is growing, the state government has come under harsh criticism from the opposition and the journalist fraternity in view of the killing of yet another working journalist, Raghvendra Dubey, in Mira Road in the wee hours of Friday.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis
Dubey was allegedly killed after cops raided a bar in Mira Road, during which two other local journalists, Shashi Sharma and Santosh Mishra, were also seriously assaulted. In response to the protests, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed that a special investigating officer investigate Dubey’s murder.
He has already announced that the process of making the law to protect journalists is in progress at the administrative level. On Wednesday, some journalists, including two women, were assaulted while reporting an accident in Santacruz. The accused in this case have been put behind bars.
Fadnavis told a delegation of journalists on Friday that a special officer would be deputed to investigate Dubey’s murder and the assault on other two journalists. The delegation brought to the CM’s notice that the police were not revealing the facts about the incident. Another round of talks with Fadnavis is slated for Tuesday (July 21).
On Monday, when journalists across the state held a protest against the delay in passing a legislation protecting those in the profession, Fadnavis had said that he was for such a law, but wanted to ensure that it does not cover those who misuse their profession.
He also said that political consensus was needed to pass a comprehensive law. The erstwhile government had shot down the demand for such a law after a ministers’ panel had red-flagged the proposal. Sources in the BJP-led government said the current ministers, too, want to know if the existing laws (and Indian Penal Codes) were insufficient to bring to book those guilty of attacking journalists and punish them in the court of law.
Ironically, the representatives of the erstwhile Congress and NCP government, who were against such a law, blamed the BJP government for the killing of journalists. They demanded that the law be made as early as possible.