This comes shortly after reports that press freedom was worsening in India

Hindustan reporter Rajdeo Ranjan executed in Bihar How tough India is for journalistsImage: Twitter
news Media Saturday, May 14, 2016 - 09:41

Senior journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, bureau chief of Hindi daily 'Hindustan', was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Siwan on Friday, News 18 reported.

Ranjan was reportedly shot at when he was travelling on his motorcycle at around 7:45 pm, and the bullets hit him on the head and neck. He was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.

The police have started an investigation and a motive behind the incident is yet to be ascertained.

This incident comes shortly after a report by 'Reporters Without Borders,' which said that press freedom was worsening in India.

The report on the RSF website stated a disturbing trend of “decline in respect for media freedom at both the global and regional levels”. 

Read: Press freedom worsening in India and PM Modi indifferent to threats, says global report

While India may have gone up by three positions since 2015, the RSF report argues that not only is it difficult for journalists to report in areas deemed “sensitive” by the government, like Kashmir, but also that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “indifferent to these threats and problems, and there is no mechanism for protecting journalists.”

Benjamin Ismail, the head of the Asia-Pacific desk at RSF had said:

“A real and worrying degradation is shown by the score of India - 43.17 in 2016 against 40.49 in 2015 (in the index, more is worse). And it was 40.34 in 2014, so already slightly worse in 2015 compared to 2014. Violence against news providers is the main explanation of this degradation.” 

Since 1992, only 3% of journalists in India have died covering wars, according to CPJ data, and as many as 46% of journalists who were killed while working were covering politics; 35% corruption. 

Also read: Murder of Karun Misra, nine other journalists, reveals rising danger

Death is not the only cause for concern for the Indian journalist. “Human rights defenders, journalists and protesters continued to face arbitrary arrests and detentions. Over 3,200 people were being held in January [2015] under administrative detention on executive orders without charge or trial,” the latest Amnesty International report states.

Journalists face hostile environments across the world: 71 were killed with confirmed motives, with another 25 unconfirmed, according to CPJ’s statistics. RSF records that 43 journalists have been killed for unclear reasons.

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