19:15 GMT +314 December 2019
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    UN secretary general Antonio Guterres

    UN Chief Expresses Concern Over Killing of Journalists in India

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    Asia & Pacific
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    Two journalists, Sandeep Sharma and Naveen Nishchal were killed in separate incidents in India earlier this week. Both the journalists had reportedly carried out sting operations to expose the involvement of politicians, police and the mafia in huge scams.

    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.

    READ MORE: Three Whistleblower Journalists Run Over by Vehicles in 24 Hours — Reports

    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.   


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