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The Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, has called on Indian authorities to clarify the circumstances concerning the death of journalist Parag Bhuyan.
Bhuyan succumbed to his injuries in a hit-and-run car accident at Kakopathar in Upper Assam on November 11.
“I deplore the death of Parag Bhuyan,” Azoulay said in a statement posted on the UNESCO website.
“I trust that the Indian authorities will ensure a timely investigation to shed light on the circumstances of Parag Bhuyan’s death. No effort should be spared to enable journalists to exercise their profession safety, without let or hindrance,” Azoulay said.
“In his work, Parag Bhuyan, an experienced journalist of the Pratidin Time group, specialized in issues relating to corruption and local crime,” the statement by UNESCO, said.
“UNESCO promotes the safety of journalists through global awareness-raising, capacity building and a range of actions, notably in the framework of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.”
The Editors’ Guild of India had recently written a letter to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressing concern about the “growing incidents of violence against journalists in Assam”.
They appended a list containing names of 31 journalists killed in Assam since 1991 with the letter.
The Chief Minister immediately ordered a CID (criminal investigation department) inquiry into the death of Bhuyan following the incident.
Two persons, the driver of the tea-leaf carrying vehicle (that hit the journalist) and his helper, were traced to Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh and arrested.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)