Home Ministry’s advisory to states: ‘Investigate attacks on journalists, ensure their safety’
New Delhi, Oct 25: In a bid to protect the fourth estate that has witnessed several deadly attacks on its members in the recent times, the Ministry of Home Affairs has recently issued an advisory on "safety of journalists" to be followed by all states and union territories of the country.
"The fourth estate is an important institution of our democracy. It ensures that citizens are able to express their opinions freely without any fear and coercion as provided under the Constitution of India.
"It is the duty of states to ensure safety and security of journalists who ensure that the fourth estate discharges this key role," reads the advisory.
"From time to time, incidents of attack on journalists/media persons are reported in the media. All such cases need to be investigated promptly to ensure that criminals get prosecuted in a time bound manner.
"States should also take all preventive and deterrent action as deemed required. States are already empowered to provide security to individuals based on threat perceptions," adds the advisory, which was made public on Tuesday.
The advisory, dated October 20, 2017, has come at a time when the media has been rattled because of several fatal attacks on its members, including the killing of Bengaluru-based journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh on September 5.
The other two killings of journalists in recent times include the murder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader and journalist, Rajesh Mishra, who was shot dead by bike-borne assailants on October 22 in Uttar Pradesh's Ghazipur district and brutal death of journalist KJ Singh and his mother Gurcharan Kaur, who were found dead in their Mohali flat on September 23.