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Photojournalist shot and killed while covering armed encounter between security forces and militants

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Mourns Death of Photojournalist in India

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is saddened and shocked to learn of the death of photojournalist Ashok Sodhi of bullet injuries sustained while covering an armed encounter in India's Jammu region on May 11.

Sodhi, a 25-year veteran of the newspaper industry, was employed by the Daily Excelsior, a leading newspaper in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

He was reporting on an armed encounter in Kashmir's Samba district, 45 kilometres south of Jammu, between security forces and militants who had allegedly infiltrated from Pakistan-controlled territory.

"The IFJ calls upon media organisations to increase safety awareness among professional staff and provide basic protective gear for all personnel deployed to cover situations involving lethal weaponry," said Jacqueline Park, IFJ Asia-Pacific Director.

"The IFJ also reiterates its demand that all media staff be provided with comprehensive insurance cover, so that the financial distress arising from death or serious injuries sustained in the call of duty is minimised."

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

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