Slain journalist’s colleagues launch ‘Justice for Saumya’ campaign

October 4th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Soumya Vishwanathan, according to her teacher, was what many mature young women strive to become - honest and fearless journalists. But her brutal killing earlier this week is a sad reminder of the insecurity of our times, she said at the launch of the ‘Justice for Soumya’ campaign here Saturday.Radhika, a journalism teacher at the Kamla Nehru College under the Delhi University, where Soumya had studied, was talking on behalf of the college at a condolence meeting organised by Vishwanathan’s colleague’s at the Headlines Today news channel.

“In the college, we nurture young women to be fearless and honest journalists. Saumya was all that we wanted our students to be, yet look at what happened to her. This is a sad reminder of the insecurity in our lives,” Radhika said.

Vishwanathan, all of 25, was found dead in her car in Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi around 3.30 a.m. Tuesday when she was returning from work to her home in Sector-C of Vasant Kunj. Police are investigating the case though they have no clues, no leads.

Launching the campaign, Rahul Kanwal of the Headlines Today described it as a crusade that will not die down until Vishwanathan’s killer or killers are brought to book.

“We have launched campaigns for justice in cases like that of Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo. This time it is for someone who was one of us. Soumya was a hard-working professional and a lovely person, who never hesitated to help when the need arose. It’s our turn now,” Kanwal said.

A petition demanding justice for Vishwanathan and demanding safety for all, which was signed by all present, will be submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Besides this, an online campaign and communities in social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook have been created to keep alive the crusade for justice.

Rajyalakshmi Rao, a senior journalist, went a step ahead and said that Soumya’s death is a signal for people to put the onus on the employers and organizations to ensure safety of women employees.

“While the state is accountable for the safety of the citizens, we should also put pressure on the employers of the organizations to take responsibility for ensuring safety of the women employees.

“There should be a mandatory cab service to drop employees home at night, especially women employees,” she said.

As people signed ‘Miss you Angel’ and ‘We will get you justice Soumya’ on the signature campaign, a beaming picture of hers stood surrounded by lighted candles - posing a question on the security of “normal” girls like her who tread the capital’s roads every day.

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