Statement of BHRPC on the Death of Mr. Jagjit Saikia
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC), a human rights organisation based in Silchar, Assam expresses agony and grave concern at yet another cruel and untimely death of a young journalist caused by unidentified gunmen. Mr. Jagjit Saikia, a Kokrajhar (Assam) based reporter, who worked with “Amar Asom”, a local daily in the Assamese language, was reportedly shot at by miscreants on November 22 afternoon in Kokrajhar town which caused his death. BHRPC categorically condemns this cowardly act and sends condolences to the family members of the deceased journalist and extends solidarity with the media fraternity.
BHRPC sees it not only as another blow to the media, which is regarded as a pillar of democracy, but also as the naked manifestation of the brutality to which the continuous assault on the right to freedom of thought and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India has reached. The State and Union Governments are under obligations in International Human Rights Law as well as duty bound under the Law of the Land to ensure the exercise of this inalienable human right by its citizens. It is evident from this and other such incidence of attack on the media and the people’s right to freedom of expression including the incidence of death of Konsam Rishikanta, a trainee sub-editor of The Imphal Free Press, an English daily of Manipur on 17 November, at the hands of unidentified shooters that the Indian State is miserably failed to protect basic human rights of the citizens.
BHRPC urges the Union and State Governments: 1. To conduct prompt, objective and transparent investigations into both of the incidents. 2. To bring the perpetrators of these ghastly acts to book and punish them as per law. 3. To pay adequate compensation to the dependants relatives of the deceased. 4. To ensure security of the life of journalist. 5. To protect the right to freedom of expression and thought of the people by going hard on those elements who pose threat to it.BHRPC also wrote Urgent Appeal to the Prime Minister of India sending copies to the Home Minster of the Union Government of India, Chief Minister of Assam and others conveying these demands.
Waliullah Ahmed Laskar
Barak Human Rights Protection Committee
Rongpur Par-IV (Near Uco Bank), Silchar-9
Cachar, Assam, India