About 50 journalists and mediapersons went on a relay hunger strike at the Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh in Fort on Wednesday. They were protesting against the police’s failure to find any concrete leads in the murder of veteran journalist J Dey.
“It has been four days [since he was shot] and nothing has happened. There are only theories, no action,” the protesters said.
A picture of Dey adorned with flowers was placed at the venue, along with a large banner demanding that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) take over the case.
While criticising Mumbai commissioner of police Arup Patnaik and home minister RR Patil, the protesters demanded legal protection for journalists. “This man gave his life for the country, and the police are taking their own time investigating [the case]. I think fasting is not enough, we should go protest in Powai,” said Shirley Pinto, a resident of Goregaon, who was present at the scene.
Several others came to press for the pending demands, including Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital where Dey’s post-mortem was carried out, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Mayank Gandhi, coordinator for India Against Corruption in Mumbai.
“It is our right to protest in a democracy, and we are doing so peacefully,” said Gandhi.
He added, “Earlier, in the US, people were labelled communists, and under Indira Gandhi people were labelled foreign agents. Today, in India, if you protest then you are considered a member of the RSS. This is not the case. This protest is a way of putting pressure on the administration to find the culprits.” The strike was called off late in the afternoon.