New York, December 24, 2012–Indian authorities must immediately investigate the death of a cameraman who was fatally shot by police on Sunday while covering protests against the sexual assault of women. The Associated Press identified the journalist as Dwijamani Singh, a reporter for the news division of the satellite-distributed Prime News channel that covers northeast India. Other reports have provided different spellings of Singh’s name.
Singh was covering a rally in Imphal, the capital of Manipur state, when he was shot by police firing on protesters. Local news accounts reported that police said Singh was shot by accident while they were trying to disperse protesters with live ammunition. Five police officers have been suspended, the reports said.
“It is not enough to temporarily suspend some police officers from duty when they might be responsible for the death of a journalist covering a public protest,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Indian officials must fully explain the circumstances of this killing, and hold all of those responsible fully accountable. It is the only way to improve the police response to such public outcries in the future.”
Protesters gathered in Imphal to demonstrate against the reported December 18 public sexual assault of Momoko, a local actress, by members of a separatist group, according to news reports. The protest was also part of mass demonstrations against the sexual assault of women after the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in Delhi.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This alert has been modified to reflect the correct spelling of Dwijamani Singh’s name.