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PRESS RELEASE: 194 journalists targeted, eight killed during 2022 in India

The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) 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).

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

Out of 103 journalists, 70 journalists who 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 Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of the RAAG.

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 Hussain, Sanna Irshad Mattoo and Rana Ayyub were stopped by the Immigration officials from flying abroad.

During 2022, out of the 91 journalists attacked by the 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, who was killed in an IED blast triggered by alleged Maoists while performing his official work on 5 February.

“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 Mr Chakma.

The list of 194 journalists targeted during 2022 is given in the Table below:

Sl No. of journalists targetedName of journalists State/UTNature of targetingNo. of journalist targeted by the State actorsType of State actors No. of journalists targeted by the non-state actors Type of non-State actors
1Kollu AnkababuAndhra PradeshArrest1Police  
2Maksam TayengArunachal PradeshAssault 1Forest officials  
3Kunu Borang Arunachal PradeshAssault   1unidentified persons
4-5Nasidur Rahman and Mushtafizur RahmanAssamArrest2Police  
6Jayant DebnathAssamAbused and assault by two policemen 1Police  
7Biswa Kalyan PurkayasthaAssamAssault by Home Guard S Deb1Govt Home Guard  
8Banajit ThakuriaAssamAssault by unknown persons  1 
9Subhash Kumar MahtoBiharMurder   1Four accused identified as Sourav Kumar, Priyangshu Kumar and Roshon Kumar
10AnupBihar Assault by police1Police  
11Ravi ShankarBihar Shot at  1Unknown armed men
12Gokul YadavBiharMurder   1Unidentified persons
13Vivek ChaubeyChhattisgarhMurder   1Four persons including a Sarpanch
14Jitendra JaiswalChhattisgarhArrest1Police  
15Nilesh SharmaChhattisgarhArrest1Police  
16Mohammad ZubairDelhiArrest1Police  
17Ravi NairDelhiArrest warrant served for criminal defamation1Police/  
18-22Siddharth Varadarajan, M.K. Venu, Sidharth Bhatia, Jahnavi Sen and Mithun KidambiDelhiSearches at home and The Wire’s office & registration of FIR5Police  
23Naresh VatsDelhiAssault 1Security personnel  
24Aakash HussainDelhiStopped from flying by immigration officials1Immigration officials  
25Sanna Irshad Mattoo DelhiStopped from flying by immigration officials1Immigration officials  
26Sucheta DalalDelhiSummon1ED  
27Rajat SharmaDelhiThreat   1Unknown persons
28Juned Khan PathanGujaratMurder   1Unknown persons
29A woman journalistHaryanaMolestation and threat1Railway officials  
30Rupesh Kumar SinghJharkhandArrest1Police  
31Arup ChatterjeeJharkhandArrest1Police  
32Vidyut MahatoJharkhandAssault1Police  
33Sajad GulJ&KArrest & detention1Police  
34Fahad ShahJ&KArrest & detention1Police  
35Gowhar GeelaniJ&KSummons under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC & arrest order by court1Police/ Court  
36Yash Raj SharmaJ&KSummon under Section 160 of CrPC1Police  
37Aasif SultanJ&KDetained under PSA1Police  
38Khalid GulJ&KArrest1Police  
39Shahid TantrayJ&KHarassment 1Police  
40Shabraiz BashirJ&KAssault   1 
41-8040 journalists J&KThreat & intimidation  40Armed opposition groups
81Rana AyyubKarnatakaRegistration of FIR1Police  
82-84Ajith Kumar K, Praveen Kumar and Siddique NeerajeKarnatakaRegistration of FIR3Police  
85Bandu Mali @ PanditMadhya PradeshMurder   1Unidentified persons
86Shubham PathakMadhya PradeshRegistration of FIR and beating by authorities1Police & other public official  
87-89Kunjbihari Kaurav, Anil Sharma and N.K. BhateleMadhya PradeshRegistration of FIR3Police  
90Govind GurjarMadhya PradeshAssault   1Staff and security guards of a private hospital
91An unidentified journalistMadhya PradeshAssault   1Unidentified persons
92Vicky RajpurohitMadhya PradeshAssault   1Unidentified persons
93Chandrakant SuryvanshiMaharashtraArrest1Police  
94Govind WakadeMaharashtraArrest and detention1Police  
95Varun SinghMaharashtraManhandled by traffic policeman1Police  
96Mohan DubeyMaharashtraStabbed   1ne Yusuf Sheikh
97Ganesh JadhavMaharashtraShot   1Unidentified persons
98-99Bijoy Kakchingtabam and Leimapokpam ShanjitkumarManipurArrest2Police  
100Wangkhemcha ShamjaiManipurSummoned and harassment1NIA  
101-102Josh Sharma and L. KantaManipurAssault   2Unidentified persons
103An unidentified TV reporterManipurAssault   1Unidentified persons
104-106Three unidentified journalistsMeghalayaAssault   3Mob
107Rohit BiswalOdishaKilling in IED blast   1Triggered by suspected Maoists
108Sailendranath JenaOdishaMurder   1Unidentified persons
109Lokanath DaleiOdishaDetention and torture1Police  
110Achyuta MohantyOdishaArrest and torture1Police  
111Kalu Charan SahuOdishaAssault   1Unidentified persons
112Rakesh RoulOdishaAssault 1Police  
113-116Four unidentified journalistsOdishaAssault   4Unidentified persons
117Pravat Kumar LenkaOdishaAssault   1Unidentified persons
118-120Prabin Kumar and two othersOdishaAssault3Police  
121T. UdayanarayananPuducherryAssault and threat   1Unidentified persons
122Ravinder Singh WazidpurPunjabBooked under Section 153 of IPC & Section 66-C of IT Act1Police  
123-124Jatinder Singh and Satinder SinghPunjabAssault   2Officials of the TCS Immigration Company
125Alok VermaPunjabAssault   1Unidentified persons
126Aman ChopraRajasthanRegistration of FIR1Police  
127Balaji BaskarTamil NaduAssault   1Unidentified persons
128Savitri KannanTamil NaduArrest1Police  
129-16840 journalists and YouTube content creatorsTelanganaDetention and harassment40Police  
169Tapas DasTripuraAssault   1Unidentified persons
170Kishore RamUttarakhandArrest1Police  
171Sudhir SainiUttar PradeshMurder   1By three persons in a road rage
172Gaurav BansalUttar PradeshArrest and torture1Police  
173Faizan QureshiUttar PradeshArrest1Police  
174-176Ajit Kumar Ojha, Digvijay Singh and Manoj GuptaUttar PradeshArrest3Police  
177Uma Nath TiwariUttar PradeshRegistration of FIR1Police  
178Anil YadavUttar PradeshArrest1Police  
179An unidentified journalistUttar PradeshAssault and threat   1Unidentified persons
180Vikas SahayUttar PradeshAssault   1Relative of the Chairperson of Municipal Corporation
181Mukesh GuptaUttar PradeshShot at   1Unidentified persons
182-183Shyam Sunder Pandey and Laddu PandeyUttar PradeshShot at   2Unidentified persons
184-192Nine journalistsWest BengalAssault   9Members of a political party
193A female reporterWest BengalAssault   1Members of a political party
194Manab GuhaWest BengalArrest1Police Members of a political party
  Total 103 91 

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