Assam asked to submit report on deaths of 32 journalists

The Press Council of India (PCI) on Thursday sought a report from the Government of Assam about the status of investigations into 32 cases relating to killing or disappearance of journalists in the state in the past 30 years.

The PCI expressed concerns over alleged delay in investigation and prosecution in all these cases.

“Concerned over the reports of inordinate delay in investigation and prosecution of 32 cases of murdered or missing journalists in Assam over the last three decades, PCI chairman Chandramauli Kumar Prasad has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter and sought a status report from the chief secretary and the director-general of police of Assam on the cases,” the PCI said in a statement.

The directive from the PCI, a statutory authority, came following disbursement of ex gratia to families of 32 journalists by the Assam government. On 22 December 2017, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal disbursed one-time financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the 32 journalists killed or disappeared.

But the family members still wait for justice.

While arrests were made in a few cases, there has been not been any conviction so far. It is alleged that all cases have fallen apart because of shoddy investigation by the investigating officials.

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