Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that Umesh Rajput, 32, a journalist employed by the newspaper Nai Duniya, was gunned down by two masked gunmen on a motor-cycle as he left his home in Raipur, in the central state of Chhattisgarh, on the evening of 23 January. He was rushed to hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
A message written in red letters was found at the murder scene. It said: “If you don’t stop publishing news, you will die.”
Reporters Without Borders had already warned the government against allowing a two-tier system of safety for journalists in India. Media personnel in New Delhi and Mumbai are relatively secure but those in those in regions riven by conflict, such as Chhattisgarh, are exposed to increasing danger. The government must protect journalists in this region before terror and impunity take hold.
Reporters Without Borders voices its support for Rajput’s family and calls on the government to do everything possible to shed light on his murder. Local journalists say it was clearly linked to his work as a journalist. This view is supported by the message left at the scene.