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Press Freedom Threatened: Attack on Reporters Sends Shockwaves in the A & N Islands

 

In a disturbing turn of events, the recent assault on journalists Mr. J Boby and Mr. Shahdev in the Rangat has sent shockwaves through the entire civil society in A & N Islands. The attack, stemming from their investigation into the illegal sale of liquor within close proximity to the Rangat Police Station, is not merely an assault on two reporters but an ominous threat to the very pillars of our society. The media, often referred to as the fourth pillar of democracy, plays a vital role in upholding the principles of democracy, freedom, justice, and transparency. So, the attack on these reporters should not be isolated as an individual incident; it represents a direct assault on our collective values and the democratic fabric of our society.

The assailants, by taking the law into their own hands, have undermined the foundation of justice and individual liberty. It is disheartening to note that such an incident occurred within the vicinity of a police station, raising questions about the efficacy of law enforcement in the region.

On the other hand, Press freedom is a cornerstone of democracy, and an attack on journalists is an attack on the very essence of our democratic ideals. It is crucial for society to recognize that the media acts as a watchdog, exposing corruption, crimes, and unlawful practices. The rising crime rate in the A & N Islands is a matter of grave concern, and the media plays a pivotal role in shedding light on these issues.

In response to this heinous act, there is an urgent need for a thorough investigation by law enforcement agencies. The SHO, P.S. Rangat must be held answerable in the matter, and a transparent inquiry should be conducted to ensure that justice is served. The community must unite in demanding a swift and decisive response against the perpetrators.

Moreover, there is a pressing need for enhanced security measures for journalists, human rights activist and whistle blowers, ensuring their safety as they carry out their duties. These people are the torch bearers of society. Hence, it is imperative that the police take strict action without any external interference to send a clear message that attacks on the media will not be tolerated. As the A & N Islands transition from a past with limited media presence to an emerging stage, it is crucial to protect and nurture the role of the media in shaping a just and informed society. This incident should serve as a wake-up call for authorities to strengthen the law and order situation, ensuring that journalists can perform their duties without fear.

In conclusion, the attack on these reporters as said is a direct threat to our democratic values. The community, along with law enforcement, must stand united in condemning such acts and work towards preserving the freedom of the press for the betterment of our society. Further, the issue must be taken up till the reporters get justice. Press freedom is non-negotiable, and it is incumbent upon us to protect and uphold it for the sake of a vibrant and democratic society.

*The writer is an Academic Counselor of Political Science and International Relations teaches at IGNOU study centre Port Blair, A & N Islands. He can be reached by mail: vksingh@uohyd.ac.in

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