Attacking Journalists & Saying Sorry Later Has Become Naxal’s Latest Trend: DD Reporter

02 November 2018

Sangita Agrawal

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Bhubaneswar: After the Maoists released a statement claiming that they had no intention to target the media and the DD cameraperson Achyutananda Sahu was killed after being caught in the ambush, his colleague DD reporter Dheeraj Kumar lambasted the claim.

Talking to OMMCOM NEWS, Dheeraj Kumar said, “The trend of Naxals has changed. The new trend is to call the media persons to cover their issues, attack them and tender an apology after a couple of days. A few days before the attack on us, a reporter of a reputed news agency had gone to cover the news there, and he was attacked by arrows. Two days later, the naxals issued a statement saying that they were unable to apprehend that he was a journalist and were sorry about the incident.”

He further said, “If a person is having a camera, mike and an I-card with him, how can you mistake him as security personnel? How can we prove that we are journalists? My colleague Achyutananda Sahu was in the front of the convoy with his camera, and it was crystal clear that he was a journalist. The security personnel were just escorting us. Their claim that it was a mistake is a blatant lie and they targeted the media intentionally.”

Talking on the appeal of Maoists for not taking police personnel as escorts, Dheeraj Kumar said, “We were from Delhi. We do not know the roads to the interior places. Moreover, the naxals seem to plant bombs and ISDs everywhere. Had they informed us about the placement of their bombs? If we go alone, we will be blown to pieces. The cops were just to guide us safely to our destination.”

On October 30, Doordarshan cameraman Achyutananda Swain hailing from Odisha’s Bolangir, along with two other security personnel, had been martyred in a Naxal attack at Dantewada.

The death of the journalist had sent the nation into a state of frenzy as several eminent personalities had condemned the killing and had demanded better security of media persons reporting from vulnerable areas.

Also Read: ‘Media Is Our Friend, We Had No Intent To Kill The Cameraman’, Naxals Release Statement After Chhattisgarh Attack

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Dheeraj Kumar, Reporter, Doordarshan