KJA condemns thrashing of journalists, IGP apologizes

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Government forces near the gunfight site in Fateh Kadal, Srinagar. Photograph by Saide Zahoor

Srinagar: Kashmir Journalist Association (KJA) has strongly condemned the mishandling of journalists by government forces near the gunfight in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar.

KJA today expressed shock over the incident as it has injured many journalists including reporters and photographers.

“Police and other government forces have been harassing and assaulting journalists repeatedly. It is simply uncalled for and must be stopped to prevent any legal recourse by the journalistic fraternity against such incidents,” said the KJA spokesman.

In Kashmir, journalists have been repeatedly stopped from performing their professional duties even as there are clear constitutional guidelines which govern the media in Jammu and Kashmir.

The KJA said that the incident is also unfortunate as it has taken place in front of senior police officials. “We appeal the governor administration to take appropriate measures and action in the incident to end this harassment,” said the spokesman.

KJA added that after speaking to Inspector General of Police, S. P. Pani, he extended “unconditional apologies” to the journalistic fraternity and assured action in the case.

“Without going into the context of the incident I unconditionally apologise to all journalist friends. I assured to look into it because we don’t want any unpleasant thing happening between police and media,” Pani was quoted by KJA spokesperson.

IGP has said that Police will develop Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the crisis situation so that such incidents wouldn’t be repeated.

“We have to work in the crisis situations so SOP will be developed for both the parties to prevent such incidents,” IGP has added.

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