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Appeal for Urgent Actions Regarding Killing of Journalists in North East India

Appeal for Urgent Actions Regarding Killing of Journalists in North East India

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BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE (BHRPC), a human rights organisation working in Assam, India, requests your urgent actions in the following situation in North East India.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SITUATION: Mr. Jagjit Saikia, a young journalist based in Kokrajhar district in Assam, India, who worked with ‘Amar Asom’ a vernacular local daily newspaper was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 22 November, 2008 at Kokrajhar Town.
BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE (BHRPC), a human rights organisation working in Assam, India, requests your urgent actions in the following situation in North East India.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SITUATION: Mr. Jagjit Saikia, a young journalist based in Kokrajhar district in Assam, India, who worked with ‘Amar Asom’ a vernacular local daily newspaper was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 22 November, 2008 at Kokrajhar Town.

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Published by: Waliullah Ahmed Laskar on Apr 12, 2009
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06/17/2009

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BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE

Rongpur Part-iv (Near Uco Bank), Silchar - 9, Cachar (Assam)
E-mail: bhrpc.net@gmail.com, FAX- +913842-263592; WebPages: http://bhrpc.net.googlepages.com

APPEAL FOR URGENT ACTIONS
ISSUES: Killing of Journalists and Threat to Freedom of Expression and Thought in North East India. BARAK HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION COMMITTEE (BHRPC), a human rights organisation working in Assam, India, requests your urgent actions in the following situation in North East India. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SITUATION: Mr. Jagjit Saikia, a young journalist based in Kokrajhar district in Assam, India, who worked with ‘Amar Asom’ a vernacular local daily newspaper was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 22 November, 2008 at Kokrajhar Town. Earlier, on 17 November another journalist, namely Mr. Konsam Rishikanta, a trainee subeditor of The Imphal Free Press, an English daily of Manipur, India was killed in the same manner by some unidentified assailants. BHRPC has been noticing with concern that the journalists who prefer to cover insurgency and related issues are targeted and eliminated one after another. It has become crystal clear that the groups who took to the violence professedly for the protection of the rights of people have no respect for basic human rights of the individuals such as right to life, right to freedom of expression and thought, right to security of life and property etc. On the other hand, BHRPC sees these incidences not only as isolated blows to the media, which is regarded as a pillar of democracy, but also as the naked manifestation of the brutality to which the continuous assault on the right to freedom of thought and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India has reached. The State and Union Governments are under obligations in International Human Rights Law as well as duty bound under the Law of the Land to ensure the exercise of this inalienable human right by its citizens. It is evident from these and other such incidence of attack on the media and the people's right to freedom of that the Indian State is miserably failed to protect basic human rights of the citizens. ACTIONS REQUESTED: Please write to the authorities in India urging them 1. To conduct prompt, objective and transparent investigations into both of the incidents. 2. To bring the perpetrators of these ghastly acts to book and punish them as per law. 3. To pay adequate compensation to the dependants/relatives of the deceased. 4. To ensure security of the life of journalists. 5. To protect the right to freedom of expression and thought of the people by going hard on those elements who pose threat to it.

Or you may forward the following letter to the addresses given bellow:

To The Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room No. 152, South Block, New Delhi Subject: Urgent Appeal Regarding Killing of Journalists in North East India. Dear Sir/Madam, Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a human rights organization working in Assam, expresses agony and grave concern at yet another cruel and untimely death of a young journalist caused by unidentified gunmen. Mr. Jagjit Saikia, a Kokrajhar (Assam) based reporter, who worked with "Amar Asom", a local daily in the Assamese language, was reportedly shot at by unidentified gunmen on November 22 afternoon in Kokrajhar town (Kokrajhar district in Assam) which caused his death. The northeastern part of India earlier also witnessed the brutal killing of a scribe in Imphal on 17 November, when unidentified assailants shot dead Konsam Rishikanta, a trainee subeditor of The Imphal Free Press, an English daily of Manipur. BHRPC categorically condemns these cowardly acts and sends condolences to the family members of the deceased journalists and extends solidarity with the media fraternity. BHRPC sees it not only as isolated blows to the media, which is regarded as a pillar of democracy, but also as the naked manifestation of the brutality to which the continuous assault on the right to freedom of thought and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India has reached. The State and Union Governments are under obligations in International Human Rights Law as well as duty bound under the Law of the Land to ensure the exercise of this inalienable human right by its citizens. It is evident from these and other such incidence of attack on the media and the people's right to freedom of that the Indian State is miserably failed to protect basic human rights of the citizens. BHRPC urges your office: 1. To conduct prompt, objective and transparent investigations into both of the incidents. 2. To bring the perpetrators of these ghastly acts to book and punish them as per law. 3. To pay adequate compensation to the dependants/relatives of the deceased. 4. To ensure security of the life of journalists. 5. To protect the right to freedom of expression and thought of the people by going hard on those elements who pose threat to it. BHRPC looks forward to see, Mr. Prime Minister, your government in action for ensuring exercise for human rights by the citizens of this great country without fear.

With Regards

Yours Sincerely

Addresses: 1. The Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, India Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857 E-Mail: manmohan@sansad.nic.in, pmosb@pmo.nic.in 2. The Chief Minister of Assam, Assam Secretariat, Dispur, Guwahati-6, Assam, India Fax: +913612262069 3. The Chief Minister of Manipur, Thoubal, Athokpam, Thoubal, Imphal, Manipur, India Fax: +913852221817 E-Mail: cmmani@hub.nic.in 4. The Union Home Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, 104-107 North Block, New Delhi 110 001 India Fax: +91 11 2309 2979 E-Mail: svpatil@sansad.nic.in 5. The Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg,

New Delhi 110 001, India Fax: +911123340016 E-Mail: chairnhrc@nic.in 6. The Chairperson, Assam Human Rights Commission, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital Raod, Bhangagar, Guwahati-5, Assam, India Fax: +913612529450/2527076 E-Mail: hrca@sancharnet.in 7. The Chairperson, Manipur Human Rights Commission Sagolband Thangjam Leirak, Imphal-795001 Manipur, India Fax: +913852410472 E-Mail: mhrc@man.nic.in

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