NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 25 (AGENCIES): Acknowledging that it is the duty of the government to ensure safety and security of journalists, the home ministry has advised all states and Union Territories to strictly enforce the law so as to allow media persons to exercise freedom of speech and expression in their professional pursuit. Referring to attacks on journalists reported in the media, the home ministry sought prompt investigation by the state police concerned “to ensure that criminals get prosecuted in a time-bound manner”. It also asked the states to take all preventive and deterrent action to protect journalists, underlining that they had been empowered to provide security to individuals based on threat perception. Centre’s missive follows the killing of two journalists, Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru and Shantanu Bhowmik in Agartala, over the past two-and-a-half months. The two murders had evoked angry reactions from media fraternity, who alleged their right to free speech was under threat.