Journalists rally against Naxals

Protests against Maoists over the murder of Sukma-based journalist Nemichand Jain have escalated. Around 250 journalists held a rally in Jagdalpur, headquarters of Bastar division, on Monday, joined by scribes of Raipur and neighbouring districts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.

They decided to boycott news and press releases of Maoists and have asked their leaders to punish the murderers. Journalists of Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur had already announced the boycott.

"We demand that Maoists punish their men responsible for this crime immediately. Tomorrow, we are visiting Jain's home in Tongpal," said Raipur-based journalist, Narayan Sharma.

Jain was found murdered on February 12. Maoists first accepted the claims and then denied them before finally admitting their role in Jain's murder, calling him a "police informer"

Journalists believe that he was murdered over a dispute with a trader who gave regular commission to the Naxals.

Journalists highlighted the risk they face in Bastar region and urged the administration to provide them adequate safety. The next rally is scheduled to be held in Raipur on March 5.

Despite mounting protests senior Maoist leaders are yet to make a statement.

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