Telangana second after Kashmir in targeting of journalists in 2022: Report

While 103 journalists were targeted by the state actors, 91 journalists were targeted by the non-state actors including political activists, the report said.

Hyderabad: Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana stood first and second respectively in the targeting of journalists across India in the year 2022, according to a report by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG).

The report stated that a total of 194 journalists including seven women journalists were targeted across India by the State agencies, non-state political actors and criminals, and the armed opposition groups (AOGs) during 2022.

Among the States/Union Territories (UTs), the journalists from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) faced the maximum target with 48; followed by Telangana (40); Odisha (14); Uttar Pradesh (13); Delhi (12); West Bengal (11); Madhya Pradesh and Manipur (6 each); Assam and Maharashtra (5 each); Bihar, Karnataka, and Punjab (4 each); Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Meghalaya (3 each); Arunachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (2); and Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttarakhand (1 each).

MS Education Academy

While 103 journalists were targeted by the state actors, 91 journalists were targeted by the non-state actors including political activists, the report said.

Out of 103 journalists, 70 journalists were arrested/detained; 14 journalists against whom First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered; four journalists who were summoned by police and Enforcement Directorate (ED); and 15 journalists who were allegedly physically attacked, threatened and harassed by public officials/police including stopping from flying abroad by immigration officials.

“Telangana reported the highest arrest/detention with 40; followed by Uttar Pradesh (6); Jammu and Kashmir (4); Madhya Pradesh (3), Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur and Odisha (2 each); and Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal (1 each). First information reports (FIRs) were registered against 14 journalists under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Sections 124-A (sedition) punishment for defamation (Section 500), 295A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups); Section 66-C, Section 67 and Section 69 of the Information Technology Act and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.”- stated Suhas Chakma, Director of the RAAG.

On January 6, Telangana police detained at least 40 journalists and Youtube content creators for their alleged anti-KCR stance. The reporters who were jailed said that they were harassed for covering the Huzurabad by-election in October of last year.

In 2022, at least four journalists were summoned for questioning – three by police i.e. Gowhar Geelani and Yash Raj Sharma of Jammu and Kashmir and  Wangkhemcha Shamjai of Manipur and Sucheta Dalal of Maharashtra by the Enforcement Directorate in New Delhi.

In 2022, at least 15 journalists were allegedly physically attacked, molested, threatened, and harassed by public officials including police across the country. Odisha reported the highest number of cases with four journalists being beaten by police.

At least three journalists i.e. Aakash Hassan, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, and Rana Ayyub were stopped by the Immigration officials from flying abroad.

In 2022, out of the 91 journalists attacked by non-state political actors and criminals across the country, the maximum attacks on journalists were reported from Odisha (5) and Uttar Pradesh (5). 

Seven journalists were killed by non-state political actors and criminals. One journalist Subash Kumar Mahto was killed for his reporting while the rest were killed for personal enmities, road rage etc.

About 41 journalists were targeted by the armed opposition groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, and the Naxal-affected areas. One journalist identified as Rohit Biswal, a reporter of a daily Dharitri, was killed in an IED blast triggered by alleged Maoists while performing his official work on 5 February, the report further said.

“The situation of press freedom has not improved during the year and the journalists remained vulnerable to severe attacks from the State and non-State actors, both online and off-line.” – further stated Chakma.

Back to top button