New Delhi (Sputnik) — United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has condemned the alleged murder of two whistle-blower journalists in India earlier this week for reportedly unearthing corruption cases.
"We, of course, are concerned about anything that would suggest harassment or violence against journalists, anywhere in the world and would so in this case," Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a press briefing.
This seems unprecedented. UN Secretary General says he is “concerned” about death of two Indian journalists in Bihar & MPhttps://t.co/RUcDdyuZLk— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) March 28, 2018
The UN Chief's response comes days after journalists Sandeep Sharma and Navin Nischal were killed in two separate incidents. In the first incident, Sandeep Sharma, a reporter in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, died after he was crushed by a truck in Bhind district, allegedly hired for the job by the illegal sand mining mafia, against whom Sharma had carried out a sting operation.
"Authorities must thoroughly investigate the killing of journalist Sandeep Sharma and determine if he was targeted because of his reporting," Steven Butler, Asia Program Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists said.
Another journalist, Naveen Nishchal was killed when an SUV rammed into his motorbike in Bhojpur district of the eastern state of Bihar. Nishchal was working as a reporter in the vernacular newspaper Dainik Bhaskar.
India is ranked among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Last year, a high-profile journalist, Gauri Lankesh, was murdered in the southern city of Bangalore, sparking strong protests across the country. While Lankesh's murder is still being probed by investigating agencies, there were widespread speculations that it was the handiwork of right-wing extremists.
Did the Indian journalist fraternity organise any protest in the Press Club of India to condemn this killing. They themselves seem to have turned a blind eye to this heinous crime. Also has the UN Head become the Chief of Reporters without Borders, by any chance.— SUBRAMANIAN J (@subbu75) March 28, 2018