Asia - Pacific

Indian journalists wear helmets and here is why

India ranks 138 out of 180 nations in World Press Freedom Index 2018

07.02.2019
Indian journalists wear helmets and here is why

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA 

In a bid to grab attention toward recurring attacks on media in India, a group of journalists wore helmets to "save themselves", local media reported Thursday.

The journalists wore helmets on Wednesday while covering an event of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Raipur, state capital of central Chhattisgarh state, broadcaster NDTV reported.

The symbolic move comes a week after a journalist was thrashed by BJP activists at their party office in Raipur. The accused have been arrested and are behind bars.

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) termed it as an "attack on the freedom of press".

“They [journalists] wanted to send a symbolic message to the BJP government -- and also fulfill a practical need in case they are attacked again,” NDTV quoted the reporters wearing helmets.

Last Saturday, BJP activists attacked journalist Suman Pandey after he caught on camera a scuffle within the party workers.

"He was attacked and beaten by BJP officials, demanding that he delete the footage,” the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in a statement on Thursday.

Pandey suffered a head injury and was hospitalized.

Soon after the attack, Pandey filed a police case and BJP’s Raipur chief Rajeev Agarwal was arrested along with three others.

Local journalists staged a protest demonstration against the attack demanding an investigation and for safer working conditions for journalists in India.

The current incident is one of many attacks on media in India which is ranked at 138 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index 2018.

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