Television journalist killed, condemnations pour on Orissa government Our Correspondent
Posted on June 2nd, 2014

Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: As the news about the killing of a young television journalist by miscreants spreads, the condemnation pours on the Orissa government in central India. Orissa (now known as Odisha) thus records the first murder of a working journalist in India this year with the slaughtering of Tarun Kumar Acharya on May 27 last.

Acharya, 35, who was based in Bikrampur of Ganjam district in Orissa, used to work for a regional news channel named Kanak Television. On the fateful night, he was targeted by the goons on his way to home riding his bike. His body was recovered by local villagers with severe injuries because of repeated stabbing with sharp weapons.

According to the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), altogether 15 Journalists were killed this year across the globe. The media rights body also pointed out that among those, four journalists namely Shan Dahar (Pakistan), Vyacheslav Veremiy (Ukraine), Pedro Palma (Brazil) and Gregorio Jim©nez de la Cruz
(Mexico) were murdered in 2014 (understandably before Acharya) with clear motives.

Days back, Acharya prepared a series of stories relating to the local cashew nut processing factories deploying children as workers.

Moreover he was vocal against few powerful individuals in his locality, which is around 120 km away from Bhubaneswar, who made social nuisances time and again.

The media fraternity of Orissa has already demanded the police to nab the killers and adequately compensate the victim family. Even after the victim family members named few suspects in the case to the authority, the police remained reluctant to book anyone for interrogations.

After the local journalist fraternity in Orissa, the Journalists’

Forum Assam (JFA) also expressed shock at the brutal murder of Acharya, who left behind his wife and a minor girl. The JFA, in a statement issued by its president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, demanded the culprits to be booked under the law immediately and adequately compensate the family.

The JFA urged the Orissa government led by Naveen Patnaik to take serious note of the incident and punish the perpetrators.  Extending moral supports to the local journalists for its further course of actions in this regard, the JFA also appealed to the Orissa based civil society and advocacy groups to stand behind the bereaved family at this time of crisis.

Meanwhile, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has raised demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe  into the murder. NUJ secretary general Prasanna Mohanty expressed dismay that the Orissa police were yet to nab the culprits. He finally asserted that Acharya’s murder has shown the insecurity the Orissa based working journalists are facing today.

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