The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked to learn of the murder of Anil Mozumdar, Executive Editor of the Assamese language daily Aaji, near his home in Guwahati, capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Assam.
According to reports from the Journalists’ Union of Assam (JUA), a constituent organisation of IFJ affiliate the Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), Mozumdar was shot dead late yesterday night by unidentified assailants who were lying in wait for him outside his home.
The local police, according to IFJ sources, are investigating the likely involvement of one of Assam’s insurgent organisations.
Mozumdar bought Aaji from the Ramdhenu Prakashan group of publications some three years ago and has functioned as its Executive Editor ever since. He was earlier the publisher and editor of the Natun Din daily and Saptahik Janamat weekly. He began his career as a local correspondent for Ajir Batori, an Assamese daily in the district town of Nalbari.
According to IFJ sources, Mozumdar was involved in several controversies since he took over the Aaji daily and has often said that he feared for his life.
The IFJ conveys its condolences to Mozumdar’s wife and two young daughters.
“Once again, since the murder of Jagajit Saikia last November, we are reminded of the unsettled and positively hazardous conditions under which journalists work in the Indian state of Assam,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The IFJ urges local authorities in Assam to go the extra mile to ensure the safety of journalists in the state and to end the culture of impunity by investigating and prosecuting every case.”