'Impartial probe needed to dispel doubts about scribe's death'

Calling for an "impartial inquiry" into the death of TV journalist Akshay Singh while covering the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Women's Press Corps on Monday expressed concern over reports of "untimely deaths of journalists" involving "mysterious circumstances".

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 06, 2015, 17:44 PM IST

New Delhi: Calling for an "impartial inquiry" into the death of TV journalist Akshay Singh while covering the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Women's Press Corps on Monday expressed concern over reports of "untimely deaths of journalists" involving "mysterious circumstances".

"His (Singh's) death is one among the many allegedly mysterious deaths that have occurred in the inquiry currently underway.

"Any doubts about the cause of the death of Singh should be dispelled by conducting an impartial inquiry involving an independent agency. The employer should also adequately compensate his surviving dependents," the body said in a statement here.

IWPC further expressed "deep concern over increasing reports involving the untimely deaths of journalists and the mysterious circumstances in some of the cases".

Noting that journalism attracts a large number of people every year, including women, IWPC said, however, that the facilities provided by employers continues to be very rudimentary even as "risks on the field" have increased manifold.

"While the risks on the field have increased for all reporters given the deterioration in law and order condition in general, employers are known to display a distinct lack of empathy where it comes to occupational hazards.

"In addition, the flagrant violation of the Wage Board award still continues," it added.

Given such precarious conditions of work and insecure terms of employment, it is little wonder that journalists are rendered most vulnerable as they have little protection either from their employer or from the government, IWPC said, adding that it is high time these concerns were looked into.