Pune scribe dies of Covid-19, JFA expresses anguish

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Pragjyotish Barta,Guwahati, 3 Septemberঃঃ One more television scribe died of novel corona virus infections in Maharashtra on 2 September 2020 to increase the Covid-19 casualties within the media fraternity as journalists continue playing the role of corona warriors along with the practicing doctors, nurses, sanitation workers and police personnel in the pandemic.

Pune based scribe Pandurang Raikar (42), who worked for TV9 news channel, succumbed to Covid-19 complications at a hospital in his hometown of Ahmednagar. Tested positive in the antigen test on 30 August, Raikar was taken to a private hospital, but the family alleged that the Ahmednagar hospital delayed his treatment. Raikar left behind his wife, two kids and a host of relatives.

As casualties among media families grow across the country, Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) appeals to every scribe to be cautious and careful while reporting from the ground to safeguarding themselves with their families. The forum meanwhile urged the Union government in New Delhi to announce a comprehensive insurance package for the media corona warriors.

Earlier, another television journalist Neelanshu Shukla (30) died of Covid- complications on 31 August. Hailed from Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Shukla was associated with AajTak. Maharashtra’s veteran journalist Ashok Churi, who edited Marathi weekly PalgharTimes, died at a Palghar based hospital, who later tested positive for Covid-19. The printer-publisher of AsomiyaKhabar (Rantu Das) also died at a Guwahati hospital, who tested positive for the virus infection. New Delhi based scribe Tarun Sisodia killed himself undergoing treatment at AIIMS.

Patiala (Punjab) based photojournalist Jai Deep, Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) based television reporter Madhusudan Reddy & video journalist M Parthasarathy, Chennai (Tamil Nadu) based television reporter Ramanathan and Orissa’s journalists namely Simanchal Panda, K Ch Ratnam & Priyadarshi Patnaik, Chennai based news videographer E Velmurugan, Chandigarh based news presenter Davinder Pal Singh, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) based television scribe Manoj Kumar, Agra (UP) based journalist Pankaj Kulashrestha and Kolkata (West Bengal) based photojournalist Ronny Roy also lost their battles against the virus.

“It’s time to be careful for everyone. Over one hundred Assam based media persons have already turned positive for the virus infection,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that shockingly the worrisome development was not reported by the concerned news papers, news channels and digital platforms properly even though a few infected media persons made personal revelations in the social media.

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