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Journalist Neha Dixit Reveals She Has Been Stalked And Threatened With Rape, Acid Attack And Death For Several Months Now. Just For Doing Her Job!

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When I first decided to study and pursue a career in journalism, my family was concerned with my choice. However, they eventually gave in. I was stubborn and resilient, I knew what I was getting myself into. You see, on the surface, journalism seems like a relatively safe career choice. And what we do is extremely essential. But, it’s only when you actually pick your beat and venture out into the world to gather stories do you realise just how tricky it can get sometimes. There are times when journalists are stalked, incessantly harassed and threatened. This is exactly what is happening with award-winning journalist Neha Dixit for several months now. It’s extremely terrifying. 

Neha Dixit took to Twitter to release a statement revealing that on January 25, someone tried to break into her house. She also shared that she and her partner, Nakul Singh Sawhney, have been stalked and threatened by a group of people for several months. 

Due to the nature of her reportage, Neha has been targeted and is getting harassed possibly by a group of people. She is a freelance journalist who has contributed to publications like The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Caravan and The Wire. Neha Dixit has also won several awards including the prestigious International Press Freedom Award in 2019.

Also Read: Female Journalists In Pakistan Lash Out Against The Systematic Harassment Women In Media Are Forced To Face. We Are Glad Someone Is Taking Steps Against This

In her Twitter statement, she talked about the stalker and how they identify her “exact physical location”. They make over two dozen phone calls through several numbers and three-four different voices are used. They make it very clear that they are targeting her for her role as a journalist. According to her statement, the assailants threaten her with, “rape, acid attack and death” and also seem to know the whereabouts of her partner, Nakul. 

Neha filed a police complaint after a few people tried to break into her house on 25 January at around 9 pm. She added that they, “ran away when I shouted and opened the door”. In her Twitter statement, she drew attention to the growing number of physical, offline, assaults and harassment cases against journalists, filmmakers, artists, activists and academics. 

She said, “I feel the need to put this on record because while there is a lot of conversation about online trolling, and rightfully so, it is time that we make a sincere effort to up the momentum on offline, physical threats and attacks too.” She further added, “Looking at the recent precedents where so many journalists, artists, filmmakers, activists, academics have faced violence, some killed, for doing their job, it is imperative that we start paying attention to violence beyond the online world.” 

While we must curb online bullying, we can’t ignore the facts that Neha is bringing to our attention. Now and then, journalists are persecuted for doing their job. Stalking, harassment and in some cases, they are even killed. One of the biggest examples of this is journalist Gauri Lankesh. Excessive violence is surmounting and it is high time the authorities pay attention. 

Earlier, Neha Dixit had revealed that her exposé on extrajudicial killings in Uttar Pradesh had led to high-ranking police officials threatening her and her family. She said she receives as many as 300 abusive messages a day. That’s insane. She is simply being targeted and attacked for doing her job. 

Replying to Neha’s statement, DIGIPUB News India Foundation, an association that aims to represent, amplify and evolve best practices for digital media, urged Delhi police to take the complaint seriously and investigate thoroughly. The tweet said that the break-in attempt at Neha’s house and the constant threats are a “serious security nightmare”. 

We only hope that the authorities will look carefully into the matter and catch the people behind these threats to Neha Dixit. More power to her!

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