Indian Journalists Protest Killing of Crime Reporter

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 4:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Hundreds of Indian journalists demonstrated in the streets of Mumbai Monday to protest the killing of a prominent crime reporter working for the Mumbai daily Midday.

Reporters and editors led the march to the office of the chief minister of Maharashtra state, Prithviraj Chavan, demanding that federal authorities investigate the death of Jyotirmoy Dey, who was gunned down in broad daylight near his home Saturday.

The Mumbai Press Club said Dey's death underscores the increasing threat to investigative journalists from powerful political and business interests involved in illegal activities.

Some reports have linked his murder to a series of articles he wrote recently on the so-called “oil mafia,” or groups that dilute petrol with subsidized kerosene that they steal from tankers.

Dey wrote two books and a number of articles on organized crime in Mumbai.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists called on Indian authorities to fully investigate Dey's killing as soon as possible. The group's Asia program coordinator, Bob Dietz, said “too many Indian journalists can be killed without repercussions” and that has become “a national embarrassment.”

The journalists are calling for a new law which will ban bail for people charged with threatening or attacking journalists.

Chief minister Chavan has promised steps to ensure that journalists can work without fear, and to foil all efforts to “terrorize” the media.