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 targeted||Name of journalists||State/UT||Nature of targeting||No. of journalist targeted by the State actors||Type of State actors||No. of journalists targeted by the non-state actors||Type of non-State actors|
|1||Kollu Ankababu||Andhra Pradesh||Arrest||1||Police|
|2||Maksam Tayeng||Arunachal Pradesh||Assault||1||Forest officials|
|3||Kunu Borang||Arunachal Pradesh||Assault||1||unidentified persons|
|4-5||Nasidur Rahman and Mushtafizur Rahman||Assam||Arrest||2||Police|
|6||Jayant Debnath||Assam||Abused and assault by two policemen||1||Police|
|7||Biswa Kalyan Purkayastha||Assam||Assault by Home Guard S Deb||1||Govt Home Guard|
|8||Banajit Thakuria||Assam||Assault by unknown persons||1|
|9||Subhash Kumar Mahto||Bihar||Murder||1||Four accused identified as Sourav Kumar, Priyangshu Kumar and Roshon Kumar|
|10||Anup||Bihar||Assault by police||1||Police|
|11||Ravi Shankar||Bihar||Shot at||1||Unknown armed men|
|12||Gokul Yadav||Bihar||Murder||1||Unidentified persons|
|13||Vivek Chaubey||Chhattisgarh||Murder||1||Four persons including a Sarpanch|
|17||Ravi Nair||Delhi||Arrest warrant served for criminal defamation||1||Police/|
|18-22||Siddharth Varadarajan, M.K. Venu, Sidharth Bhatia, Jahnavi Sen and Mithun Kidambi||Delhi||Searches at home and The Wire’s office & registration of FIR||5||Police|
|23||Naresh Vats||Delhi||Assault||1||Security personnel|
|24||Aakash Hussain||Delhi||Stopped from flying by immigration officials||1||Immigration officials|
|25||Sanna Irshad Mattoo||Delhi||Stopped from flying by immigration officials||1||Immigration officials|
|27||Rajat Sharma||Delhi||Threat||1||Unknown persons|
|28||Juned Khan Pathan||Gujarat||Murder||1||Unknown persons|
|29||A woman journalist||Haryana||Molestation and threat||1||Railway officials|
|30||Rupesh Kumar Singh||Jharkhand||Arrest||1||Police|
|33||Sajad Gul||J&K||Arrest & detention||1||Police|
|34||Fahad Shah||J&K||Arrest & detention||1||Police|
|35||Gowhar Geelani||J&K||Summons under Sections 107 and 151 of CrPC & arrest order by court||1||Police/ Court|
|36||Yash Raj Sharma||J&K||Summon under Section 160 of CrPC||1||Police|
|37||Aasif Sultan||J&K||Detained under PSA||1||Police|
|41-80||40 journalists||J&K||Threat & intimidation||40||Armed opposition groups|
|81||Rana Ayyub||Karnataka||Registration of FIR||1||Police|
|82-84||Ajith Kumar K, Praveen Kumar and Siddique Neeraje||Karnataka||Registration of FIR||3||Police|
|85||Bandu Mali @ Pandit||Madhya Pradesh||Murder||1||Unidentified persons|
|86||Shubham Pathak||Madhya Pradesh||Registration of FIR and beating by authorities||1||Police & other public official|
|87-89||Kunjbihari Kaurav, Anil Sharma and N.K. Bhatele||Madhya Pradesh||Registration of FIR||3||Police|
|90||Govind Gurjar||Madhya Pradesh||Assault||1||Staff and security guards of a private hospital|
|91||An unidentified journalist||Madhya Pradesh||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|92||Vicky Rajpurohit||Madhya Pradesh||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|94||Govind Wakade||Maharashtra||Arrest and detention||1||Police|
|95||Varun Singh||Maharashtra||Manhandled by traffic policeman||1||Police|
|96||Mohan Dubey||Maharashtra||Stabbed||1||ne Yusuf Sheikh|
|97||Ganesh Jadhav||Maharashtra||Shot||1||Unidentified persons|
|98-99||Bijoy Kakchingtabam and Leimapokpam Shanjitkumar||Manipur||Arrest||2||Police|
|100||Wangkhemcha Shamjai||Manipur||Summoned and harassment||1||NIA|
|101-102||Josh Sharma and L. Kanta||Manipur||Assault||2||Unidentified persons|
|103||An unidentified TV reporter||Manipur||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|104-106||Three unidentified journalists||Meghalaya||Assault||3||Mob|
|107||Rohit Biswal||Odisha||Killing in IED blast||1||Triggered by suspected Maoists|
|108||Sailendranath Jena||Odisha||Murder||1||Unidentified persons|
|109||Lokanath Dalei||Odisha||Detention and torture||1||Police|
|110||Achyuta Mohanty||Odisha||Arrest and torture||1||Police|
|111||Kalu Charan Sahu||Odisha||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|113-116||Four unidentified journalists||Odisha||Assault||4||Unidentified persons|
|117||Pravat Kumar Lenka||Odisha||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|118-120||Prabin Kumar and two others||Odisha||Assault||3||Police|
|121||T. Udayanarayanan||Puducherry||Assault and threat||1||Unidentified persons|
|122||Ravinder Singh Wazidpur||Punjab||Booked under Section 153 of IPC & Section 66-C of IT Act||1||Police|
|123-124||Jatinder Singh and Satinder Singh||Punjab||Assault||2||Officials of the TCS Immigration Company|
|125||Alok Verma||Punjab||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|126||Aman Chopra||Rajasthan||Registration of FIR||1||Police|
|127||Balaji Baskar||Tamil Nadu||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|128||Savitri Kannan||Tamil Nadu||Arrest||1||Police|
|129-168||40 journalists and YouTube content creators||Telangana||Detention and harassment||40||Police|
|169||Tapas Das||Tripura||Assault||1||Unidentified persons|
|171||Sudhir Saini||Uttar Pradesh||Murder||1||By three persons in a road rage|
|172||Gaurav Bansal||Uttar Pradesh||Arrest and torture||1||Police|
|173||Faizan Qureshi||Uttar Pradesh||Arrest||1||Police|
|174-176||Ajit Kumar Ojha, Digvijay Singh and Manoj Gupta||Uttar Pradesh||Arrest||3||Police|
|177||Uma Nath Tiwari||Uttar Pradesh||Registration of FIR||1||Police|
|178||Anil Yadav||Uttar Pradesh||Arrest||1||Police|
|179||An unidentified journalist||Uttar Pradesh||Assault and threat||1||Unidentified persons|
|180||Vikas Sahay||Uttar Pradesh||Assault||1||Relative of the Chairperson of Municipal Corporation|
|181||Mukesh Gupta||Uttar Pradesh||Shot at||1||Unidentified persons|
|182-183||Shyam Sunder Pandey and Laddu Pandey||Uttar Pradesh||Shot at||2||Unidentified persons|
|184-192||Nine journalists||West Bengal||Assault||9||Members of a political party|
|193||A female reporter||West Bengal||Assault||1||Members of a political party|
|194||Manab Guha||West Bengal||Arrest||1||Police||Members of a political party|