International press freedom body horrified by threats to journalists

New Delhi: An international non-governmental organisation ‘Reporters Sans Borders (RSF)’ that defends freedom of the press, has said it is horrified by a campaign of death threats against well-known TV journalist Ravish Kumar by trolls linked to the Sangh parivar outfits which have escalated dramatically since April.

According to a DC report, The RSF said “It would seem from Ravish Kumar’s revelations last week that fear is now an integral part of the life of outspoken journalists in India.”

Senior journalist and anchor of NDTV’s Prime Time show Ravish Kumar was getting death threats on phone and was trolls on social media. Ravish was also getting abusive messages and comments on his Facebook page and WhatsApp and his family is threatens with dire consequence.

Ravish is among the few journalists in India, who has been continuously exposing, often highlighting the truth, the issues that still plagues the country.

A tweet shared by NDTV shows an accused caller openly threatening the journalist. “Ek Din Mere Haataon Se Marega Tu. Dauda Dauda Ke Marunga, Yehan Se Pakistan Le Jaonga, Jahan Tumhara Ghar Hai (I give him a warning that you will die at my hands one day. Will make you run and chase you to Pakistan where you have your home.)”

Last year, Ravish penned an open letter to PM Modi that talks about the journalist’s concern of his life.

Here’s what he wrote:

“Respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji:

I’m not only hopeful but certain that this will find you hale and hearty. I always pray for your good health and wish that your limitless energy remains intact.

The scope of this letter is very limited. It is common knowledge that social media today is fertile ground for trampling all over the decency of language. This is done not just by members of your party and your supporters but also those from the opposition. And their numbers are increasing every day.

The sad part is that you happen to follow some of these people on Twitter who use grotesque language and indiscriminately dole out threats. And you have continued to subscribe to their accounts even after their malevolence was highlighted in public and sparked controversies. That such people should be able to claim or have any affiliation to you does not behoove either you or the dignity of your office.

You must have chosen to track their accounts because of some special abilities that these people have. But I hope that the abilities to intimidate, abuse and incite communalism are not among them.

(Read full letter here.)