In 2021, J&K was the most dangerous place for Indian journalists, says new report

Six journalists were killed and 121 journalists targeted in India. | Picture: Insidene

Out of 17 journalists arrested in the country in 2021, J&K topped the number of arrests followed by Delhi, Maharashtra and Manipur.

Snobar | 

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NEW DELHI — At least 6 journalists were killed and 121 media houses were targeted in India in 2021, according to an India Press Freedom Report 2021 released by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) on Wednesday.

Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura topped the list of states and Union territories where journalists and media houses were targeted in 2021, according to the RRAG report. 

“The highest number of journalists or media organisations targeted was in J&K (25), followed by Uttar Pradesh (23), Madhya Pradesh (16), Tripura (15), Delhi (8), Bihar (6), Assam (5), Haryana and Maharashtra (4 each), Goa and Manipur (3 each), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal (2 each), and Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Kerala (1 each),” the report stated.

In 2021, FIRs were registered against 44 journalists. Uttar Pradesh reported the highest registration of FIRs with nine; followed by six each in Delhi and J&K; and three in Bihar; among others, according to the report. 

In 2021, at least 24 journalists were allegedly physically attacked, threatened, harassed and obstructed from doing their professional works by public officials, including police, across the country. The police assaulted 17 of them, the report notes. 

“The widespread attacks on the press freedom from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to Tripura are an indicator of the continuing deterioration of civic space in the country. The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 is an affirmation of the government’s intent to crackdown on media freedom,” Suhas Chakma, Director of the RRAG said. 

He said the spotlight on attacks against media freedom during 2021 remained on Jammu and Kashmir. “Out of the 17 journalists arrested in the country, J&K reported the highest cases of arrest and detention with five journalists; followed by Delhi (3); Maharashtra, Manipur and Tripura (2 each); and Assam, Chhattisgarh and Haryana (1 each)”, he added.

Snobar is an intern with She tweets at @Snobar19.