The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates the the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) and the National Union of Journalists (India) (NUJI) strongly condemn the murder of journalist Kishore Dave in Gujarat, India on Monday, August 22. The IFJ demands swift investigation and action to bring those responsible to justice.
Dave, at the bureau of Jai Hind, a local vernacular daily at Junagadh in Gujarat, eastern India, was murdered in his office by unidentified assailants on Monday evening. Dave was attacked as he was filing a report, stabbed multiple times in the chest. He was alone at the time of the murder and was found later by an office assistant. Police have arrested three people in connection with the murder.
The IJU president SN Sinha said: “He was killed because of his reports exposing unsavory deeds of some powerful politicians and their kin. The police should thoroughly investigate the case and book all those behind his murder instead of arresting some who wielded their knives to kill him, however big or well connected they might be.”
The IJU further added: “The murder of Kishore Dave reinforces our demand for special law for the safety of journalists. We appeal to all journalist organizations to come together and mobilize public opinion for such a law so that his sacrifice does not go in vain.”
Describing the murder as ‘barbarous’, NUJ(I) president Ras Bihari said: “We urge the authorities to bring those responsible for the murder to justice, and break the cycle of violence and impunity that has plagued in the state for so long. We also demand the police and judiciary to ensure that the culprits do not go unpunished. “
NUJ(I) Secretary General Ratan Dixit said: “Too many journalists in Gujarat are being attacked with impunity. We demand immediate investigation into the murder and justice to the family.”
The IFJ president, Philippe Leruth said: “The IFJ strongly condemns the murder of Kishore Dave in Gujarat. We support our colleagues in India as they call for swift action on this case. It is not insignificant that Dave’s murder has followed investigations into alleged misconduct by politicians in India and we urge the Indian government to consider special law for the protection of journalists as being demanded by IFJ affiliates and journalist unions.”
IFJ research records Kishore Dave’s murder as the fourth media killing in India in 2016, and the sixth since August 2015. Over the past two years there has been a spike in journalist killings and media violations in India, which according to the IFJ is now the seventh deadliest country for journalists, with more than 95 journalists and media workers killed since 1990.