Guwahati: The failure of Andhra Pradesh police in making any breakthrough about the murder of a Telugu journalist a week back has prompted a northeast India based journalist body to express serious concern and annoyances.

While condemning the brutal killing of MVN Shankar, a senior journalist working with Andhra Prabha, a popular Telugu daily published from Hyderabad, by the miscreants, the Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has demanded exemplary punishment be given to the culprits.

Shankar (around 53 years old) was attacked by the unknown assailants with iron rods and sticks on the night of November 25 in front of his residence at Chilakaluripet of Guntur district in the central Indian province. He was shifted to Guntur hospital with severe head injuries where Shankar succumbed to the injuries next day. He left behind his wife Vijayalakshmi and a daughter – he also had a host of friends and well-wishers.

A brave soul and a media activist demanding due benefits to his fellow journalists, Shankar prepared a number of news-stories relating to the kerosene mafia, which used to sell the domestic fuel, supplied through the public distribution system of the country, on the black market.

Shankar also lodged a complaint in the Guntur police station asking for actions against the corrupt food items dealers.

The local journalist bodies including Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists and Andhra Pradesh Newspaper Employees Federation had demonstrated their anger against the murder of Shankar. They also organized protest rallies asking punishments to the perpetrators at the very earliest.

Lately the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) as well as its affiliate Indian Journalists Union had come out with condemnations against the murder of the journalist and urged for ‘the prompt arrest and investigation into the attack so as to ensure that there is no chilling effect on journalism in the region and deliver justice to the deceased journalist and his family’.

With the murder of Shankar, India has recorded the second killing of working journalists this year (2014). The first one was reported from Odisha, another central Indian province, when a television journalist named Tarun Kumar Acharya (35) of Kanak TV in Oriya language, was killed by assailants, on May 27 last.

“The killing of journalists indicates that there are still people in our country who dare to deny the journalist’s right for freedom of expression. This is unacceptable in the largest democracy of the globe,” said JFA president Rupam Barua.

The JFA also appealed to the Andhra Pradesh government led by N Chandrababu Naidu to take all possible steps to book the culprits under the law. It also extended moral support to the agitating journalists of Andhra Pradesh demanding justice to the bereaved journalist family.