Srinagar: Kashmir Journalists Association (KJA) Saturday condemned the physical attack on three journalists in Srinagar’s Nawab Bazar on Friday afternoon.
The journalists – Saqib Mugloo, Kaiser Andrabi and Bhat Burhan, all working at The Kashmir Walla, were beaten up by the police and paramilitary forces outside the office and later bundled in a police vehicle.
“The attack comes days after police expressed “unconditional apology” for the physical attack on a group of journalists in Srinagar’s Fateh Kadal. We call on the government authorities to guarantee the reporters’ safety and act against those involved in such attack,” a spokesperson of KJA said in a statement.
On Friday, as the clashes between youth and the government forces were reported from some areas of the city, the three journalists were outside the office premises when the forces barged at them. Eyewitnesses said that the forces beat them up badly and took them away in a Rakshak vehicle.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) also condemned the attack, saying that “if press is not respected then it is obvious truth will be first tragedy.”
The party called on Jammu and Kashmir police to look into this and act.
Kashmir needs independent journalism…
…now, more than ever to give a voice to the voiceless. The press in Kashmir has operated under tremendous pressures of reporting from a conflict zone but since August 2019 we find ourselves in unchartered territory. The Kashmir Walla is among the oldest independent media outlets in Kashmir and has withstood successive lockdowns as well as attempts to suppress us, fighting back with authoritative ground reports based on facts.
We believe in making the powers that be accountable to their actions but to also hold the mirror to the society. We believe in covering all sides of the story and that empowerment in essence means the ability to make informed decisions. As such we have not allowed our journalism to be influenced by the pressures.
Despite the new and still unknown pressures, we are all the more committed to keep informing you of events and stories that matter. Our recent coverage of events has brought us an increased readership. However, the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis has affected our operational capabilities. We are facing an existential threat but only your support can help us withstand this and maintain our editorial independence.