At Least 12 Journalists Killed, 48 Assaulted During Yogi Adityanath's Tenure Since 2017


New Delhi: Exposing the enormous claims of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on law and order in Uttar Pradesh (UP), a report published by the Committee Against Assault on Journalist (CAAJ) reveals that as many as 12 journalists have been killed, 48 have been physically assaulted, and 66 have been booked under various cases in the last five years of Yogi Adityanath governance in UP. The CAAJ report, titled 'The Siege of the Media', is divided into four categories based on the nature of the attack; murder, physical assault, trial/arrest, and custody/threat/espionage. It is prepared in collaboration with the UP People's Union for Civil Liberties (UP PUCL) and includes cases verified at the grassroots level. Therefore, the numbers may be fewer than the actual tally of such incidents. The report details incidents related to the suppression of press freedom in UP based on the data collected between 2017 and the present day, reported by The Wire. Journalists Killed According to the report, as many as 138 cases of persecution of journalists were registered in UP between 2017 and February 2022. In the last five years during Yogi Adityanath governance, 78 (109) per cent of cases of the exact nature were recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 (52) and 2021 (57) alone. The report states that as soon as BJP came to power in 2017, two journalists Naveen Gupta of Hindustan Newspaper and Rajesh Mishra of Dainik Jagran, were shot dead. As per the report, no journalists were killed in 2018 and 2019. However, seven journalists, Rakesh Singh, Suraj Pandey, Uday Paswan, Ratan Singh, Vikram Joshi, Faraz Aslam and Shubham Mani Tripathi, were murdered in 2020, the highest for a year. In 2021, two journalists, Sulabh Shrivastava and Raman Kashyap, were killed, making headlines countrywide. So far, in 2022, journalist Sudhir Saini was allegedly beaten to death in broad daylight. The 'The Siege of the Media' further doubts that the actual tally during the period might exceed the number of 12 deaths. Journalists Assaulted According to the report, most of the attacks on journalists and press freedom, including legal notices, FIRs, arrests, detention, espionage, threats and violence, have been instigated by the state and the administration. Further, at least 50 journalists were physically assaulted during the five years tenure of Yogi Adityanath. The accused in such assaults ranges from police officers, politicians, strongmen and common people. The minor heckling or fatal assaults were carried out while the correspondent was on duty.